Players from 2nd-division Spanish club Elche won't train

A man jogs past Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The Spanish soccer league aims to restart in June without spectators. It's new compulsory protocols say all players, coaches and club employees must be tested for COVID-19 coronavirus before training resumes, then regularly after that. All clubs' training facilities must be properly prepared and disinfected before players can start practicing individually. (AP Photo/Paul White)
A man jogs past Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The Spanish soccer league aims to restart in June without spectators. It's new compulsory protocols say all players, coaches and club employees must be tested for COVID-19 coronavirus before training resumes, then regularly after that. All clubs' training facilities must be properly prepared and disinfected before players can start practicing individually. (AP Photo/Paul White) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MADRID – Players from Spanish soccer club Elche did not return to practice on Wednesday as a protest against reduced salaries.

The players for the second-division club were supposed to practice at the team’s stadium but decided to keep training at home to show their discontentment with the team’s decision not to lift the furloughs that had been put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Players want to resume earning full salaries now that they are back to training and the league is expected to restart.

The players practiced normally on Tuesday. The club from southeastern Spain said it was negotiating with them.

Like most clubs in Spain, Elche used government furloughs to reduce its labor costs during the pandemic. Players had their salaries — and working hours — reduced by 70%.

Club CEO Patricia Rodríguez told Spanish local radio network COPE she was surprised with the players' decision because the club had already made them an offer to adjust their salaries.

She said players are not being required to work overtime under the furlough conditions.

“Even though they are going to the stadium, they are only exercising for about 45 minutes, which is within the reduction stipulated by the furlough,” she said.