Barcelona's stadium, the Camp Nou, in October 2019 / OMAR HAWWASH/BLAUGRANAGRAM
Barcelona’s stadium, the Camp Nou, in October 2019 / OMAR HAWWASH/BLAUGRANAGRAM

FC Barcelona has, after negotiations, reached an agreement with its players over a pay cut in their salaries, as announced by both parties Monday afternoon.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, football clubs around the world have taken several measures to reduce the effect of the virus outbreak.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the press with regards to FC Barcelona, who recently announced that its facilities have been made available to the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, in order to help combat the outbreak. Since then, there has been a lot of talk in the media, stating the club and its players were working on a formula, which would see the first team players take a pay cut, in order to facilitate the salary of the non-sporting employees in the club.

Monday afternoon, that became a reality.

Barcelona’s captain, Lionel Messi, released a statement on his social media channels, announcing that the players will take a 70% pay cut in their salary. The statement was later posted by several other first team players on their respective social media channels, and was then, shortly after, followed up with the club releasing an official statement.

The players’ statement

The statement begins with the acknowledgement of the talk around the club with regards to the pay cut, before proceeding to talk about why the salary cut was not implemented earlier.

“Above everything, we would like to clarify that our desire always has been to apply a reduction to our salaries, because we perfectly understand that this is an extravagant situation, and we’re the first ones to always help the club when it has asked us to do so. Many times we have taken initiative and done things on our own, as well, when we found it necessary or important to do so,” the statement read.

The message then went on to criticize ‘people inside the club’ for attempting to pressure the players into doing something they already intended on doing.

“Because of this, it does not cease to surprise us that there are people inside the club who put us under a magnifying glass and tries to pressure us into doing something that we always knew we would do. In fact, if the agreement has dragged out for a few days, it simply is due to us trying to find a formula that will help the club as well as its workers in these very difficult moments,” Messi continued.

“On our part, the moment has come to announce that, on top of the 70% cut in our salary during this State of Emergency, we will also make some contributions so the employees at the club can earn 100% of their salary during this situation,” explained the Argentine, on behalf of the first team players, saying the reason the pay cut took time to implement was that the team was looking to ‘find real solutions in order to help the club, but also to those most affected by this situation’.

Barcelona’s statement

Soon after Lionel Messi released the players’ statement, the Catalan club released an official statement confirming that its players have taken a pay cut, and explaining that the salary reduction is affecting more than just the football team’s first team.

“FC Barcelona’s Board of Directors, the members of all of the professional sports teams and most of the basketball team have reached an agreement for a reduction in their salaries during the period of the state of alarm caused by COVID-19,” the club statement read.

“In the case of the first team [in the club’s football teams], the reduction will be over 70% of that originally agreed with the Club. This additional contribution by the team, together with the contribution that the Club itself shall make, will guarantee 100% of the salaries of all non-sporting staff at the Club, which will be submitted for ERTE (temporary redundancy) this week,” the statement explained, before thanking all the professional athletes for their cooperation while dealing with the current situation.