Messi hits out at Barca board as players AGREE to 70% wage reduction so club staff won't face pay cut
Barca’s superstars will suffer losing over two thirds of their mega pay packets in light of the coronavirus epidemic during a 'state of alarm', a move which will guarantee all other staff at the club will receive full pay during that period.
Camp Nou chiefs reached an agreement with the Catalan club's star footballers and basketball players on Monday, after announcing last week measures would be put in place to balance the books at Barca.Also on rt.com So what if Ronaldo, Messi and Co. are getting pay cuts? It's about time football's ludicrous wage bubble burst
“The FC Barcelona 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 due to Covid-19," a club statement read.
“In the case of the football first team, 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 club wishes to express its gratitude to all of the professional athletes for their implication in such an exceptional situation that has been caused by this health crisis.”
The move has been welcomed by fans the world over, although it is perhaps the least football's mega-rich elite can sacrifice in times of crisis.
Star man Messi also released a statement on Monday backing the idea that playing staff should bear the brunt of any financial consequences of the pandemic, but criticized the club's handling of the matter, insinuating it was a ploy to turn public opinion against the first XI.
“A lot has been written and said about the football first team at FC Barcelona, when it comes to the players’ salaries during this state of alarm,” the statement, shared on his Instagram account and also released by strike partner Luis Suarez, read.
“First of all, we would like to clarify that we have always been willing to apply a wage cut, because we understand perfectly that this is an exceptional situation and we are ALWAYS the first to help the club when we have been asked to. Indeed, we have often done so on our own initiative in those moments in which we have considered it important or necessary.
“For that reason, we cannot help but be surprised by the fact that from within the club there are those trying to put us under the microscope or apply pressure for us to do something that we have always been clear that we would do.
"In fact, if an agreement has taken a few days to be reached it is simply because we were seeking a formula to help the club and also to help its employees in these very difficult times.
“If we did not speak publicly before, it was because our priority was to find real solutions that could truly help the club and also those who are going to be most affected by this situation,” he added.
Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo and his Juventus teammates will forgo payments for March, April, May and June in a move that will supposedly save the Turin club €90 million ($100 million).