Barcelona to cut player wages by up to 70% during lockdown

The Spanish football Barcelona is considering a pay cut of up to 70% for all players for as long as the coronavirus lockdown lasts in Spain. Messi and company are understood to be receptive to the reduction. No agreement has been reached yet.

According to some reports, Barça’s management wants to apply any measures equally to the men’s and women’s football teams, the B team, the under-19s and to those who play basketball, handball, futsal and roller hockey. The mitigation measures also include staff working with those teams.

Other football clubs in Europe are studying ways to alleviate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe.

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Spanish LaLiga has already announced it would support its members in any measures they would find necessary to avoid the bankruptcy of clubs. More clubs are expected to follow Barcelona’s moves.

Players agree with salary cut

Labour legislation in Spain allows companies to apply temporary measures to lay off staff or reduce wages in exceptional circumstances. Barcelona would prefer to reach a negotiated settlement though.

Barcelona and players held videoconferences meetings last week and this week. Management led by Josep Maria Bartomeu received positive signs from club captains, but no agreement has been reached.

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They are discussing a proposal for a wage cut to last as long as the lockdown after which players would go back to earning 100% of their salary, even if competition does not return and the league remains unfinished. Spain’s state of alarm was announced on 11 March and is set to continue until at least 11 April.

Theses days, football clubs (and general companies) are been hitting by the lockdown due to coronavirus spread. In the case of Barcelona, of an annual budget of €1.047bn, 66% was spent on wages last season, down from 70% the season before but considered too high. The projection was 61% this season but that target is now unlikely to be met.

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