Malaga could sack half of first-team squad to ease financial issues

Malaga have announced plans to begin a "collective dismissal procedure" that could see the Spanish club sack half of their first team squad.

The second-tier side went into administration in February, bringing an end to the reign of controversial owner Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani and fuelling speculation that they would be unable to complete the season due to financial mismanagement.

- Stream FC Daily on ESPN+
- Lowe: Malaga groundskeeper who lives in ground

Malaga eventually escaped relegation to Spain's third, non-professional tier earlier this month, finishing 14th in the second division, just two points clear of the drop.

"As of today, the management of Malaga Club de Fútbol S.A.D has communicated to the squad its intention to begin a collective dismissal procedure," the club said in a statement on Monday. "The club has had to make some tough decisions in recent months.

"On this occasion, the restructuring will directly impact the men's first team. This new restructuring joins the economic plan that aims to get the Club out of the complicated financial situation which it continues to be immersed in, in spite of recent efforts."

Administrators held a series of face-to-face meetings with top earners on Monday morning, a day after the team had played their first preseason friendly ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

Players were told that the club was implementing an "ERE" or collective dismissal plan, a mechanism under Spanish law which allows a company to reduce its workforce in certain circumstances.

In May, Malaga announced plans to lay off workers due to the financial situation, while players would not be affected.

On the pitch, Malaga have been in a steady decline since reaching the Champions League quarterfinals in 2013 with a team boasting big-name players such as Isco, Joaquin and Julio Baptista.

At that point there were already signs of financial problems in the wake of Qatari businessman Al Thani's 2010 takeover, which deepened before Malaga's eventual relegation from La Liga in 2018.

In January, La Liga president Javier Tebas warned that the club would have to bring in €2 million from player sales to avoid punishment -- including a possible administrative relegation -- for incurring debts owed to players and Spanish tax authorities.