LIONEL MESSI has confirmed a 70 per cent pay cut for Barcelona players during the coronavirus pandemic.
Additional funds will be directed to club staff throughout the crisis with a statement made on Monday following the club’s enacting of the pay cut
Negotiations were reported as ongoing between the squad and board over the exact nature of the reduction, with a breakthrough now made.
As well as taking a 70 per cut pay cut, stars will make contributions to ensure ordinary staff receive their salary in full during the suspension of football.
First-team players including Messi and Luis Suarez released the statement on their social media accounts on Monday.
It read: “The time has come to announce that, aside from the reduction of 70 per cent of our salary during the state of emergency, we will also make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salaries while this situation lasts.
“Our desire has always been to take a pay cut, because we understand perfectly that this is an exceptional situation.”
The Barcelona board have confirmed that joining in the temporary reduction are directors and the basketball side.
Their statement read: “The board staff members from all professional sports and most basketball teams have reached an agreement to reduce wages during the state of emergency.”
Negotiations over the pay cut led to reports the squad had denied the 70 per cent figure, which was enforced by the board as part of the legally available measures created by the Spanish government during the crisis.
However the statement insisted plans were always underway to take a significant decrease.
It added: “It never ceases to amaze us that from within the club there were some who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure for us to do something that we always knew we would do.
“In fact, if the agreement has been delayed for a few
days, it is simply because we were looking for a formula to help the club and
also its workers in these difficult times.”
Barcelona last played on March 7 with LaLiga and the Champions League suspended indefinitely to further prevent the outbreak from spreading.
Spain has been particularly badly hit by coronavirus, the official death toll rising to 7,340. There are 85,195 confirmed cases, some 12,298 of those testing positive are health workers.
Systems remain highly strained by the pandemic with Real Madrid committing their Estadio Bernabeu to storing donated medical supplies and an ice rink in the capital being converted to a temporary morgue.
By The Sun, UK