Barcelona President Josep Bartomeu Asks Players to Take Second Pay Cut Amid Financial Turmoil of Coronavirus

Josep Maria Bartomeu
Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has reportedly asked the players to take a further pay cut, as the club attempts to mitigate the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

The playing staff agreed to take a hefty 70% reduction to their current salaries at the end of March, with the Blaugrana paying out more in wages than any other team in the world.

Lionel MessiLionel Messi
Lionel Messi revealed the Barca players were more than happy to take a 70% pay cut back in March | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Lionel Messi alone typically earns around €35m annually, while Antoine Griezmann collects a healthy €17m per annum.

Messi previously admitted he wasn’t impressed at the manner in which the board went about securing the initial cuts, believing they pressured players into taking a pay cut when they were already planning to.

And now, Catalan radio station CCMA believe Bartomeu asked the Barça squad to take further pay cuts on 23 May, on top of the one already agreed, in what he described as a ‘new effort’ from the players.

The president is said to have taken advantage of his visit to the first team’s training facility two Saturday’s ago, and it’s understood he was there with the CEO Òscar Grau and another executive who has been working on the cuts, Albert Soler.

The players are yet to respond to the hierarchy’s latest demands.

Samuel Umtiti, Nelson SemedoSamuel Umtiti, Nelson Semedo
The Catalans are also looking to balance the club’s books via player sales before the end of June | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

It’s likely the second wave of cuts will also stretch to the staff, despite no mention of it in the latest report. The initial cuts also applied to the women’s football teams, the B team, the Under-19s as well as the basketball, handball, futsal and roller hockey teams.

The Blaugrana have been actively trying to offload several high-profile stars during the current hiatus as they attempt to balance their accounts by the end of June.

Ousmane Dembélé, Arthur Melo, Samuel Umtiti, Nelson Semedo and Philippe Coutinho are just a few of the names who could imminently depart Camp Nou, recuperating hefty fees in the process.

However, the Catalans should start to generate revenue through sponsors once La Liga makes its long-awaited return on 11 June.

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