REPORT: COVID-19 Could Force Lionel Messi and Barcelona Teammates to Take Significant Pay Cut

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The crest for FC Barcelona sits on a window at the Camp Nou stadium stands in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Spains economy is particularly vulnerable to disruption caused by measures to contain the virus -- tourism accounts for 15% of output and 2.8 million jobs, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, a lobby group. Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lionel Messi and all Barcelona athletes may be subjected to a 70 per cent pay cut, according to a report in the Guardian. This wage reduction is due to the Coronavirus and would only last until the lockdown ends. The report also states that players are receptive to a salary reduction.

Lionel Messi and Barcelona Teammates Face Wage Reduction

All Barcelona Players May Lose 70 Per cent of Their Wages

It isn’t just the football players that face a wage reduction. All the athletes under the Barcelona banner would be affected equally – this includes all roller hockey, women’s football, u19s, basketball, and handball teams. Staff working with those teams would also have their wages cut.

The Barcelona board met remotely with players who were receptive to the idea. They would go back to earning 100 per cent of their income as soon as the lockdown ends, even if the season is not resumed. April 11 is the day when Spain’s state of emergency ends.

COVID-19 has hit Spain hard. The country has recorded over 4000 deaths with over 700 coming in the last 24 hours. This death total is higher than what China experienced.

So far, Barcelona is the only club to admit that they are looking for ways to alleviate the economic pain caused by the Coronavirus. And, it’s not surprising given the club’s dire economic situation. There are concerns that the Catalans would not be able to make necessary payments if the season does not resume. The report stated that Barcelona spends over 60 per cent of its budget on wages.

While labour legislation in Spain allows companies to make layoffs in extraordinary circumstances, Barcelona would prefer to have a negotiated settlement, according to the report.

Meanwhile in England

While Barcelona are the only Spanish to consider cutting salary, some Championship teams have had similar discussions.

Leeds United have held discussions with staff about differing wages. In addition, Birmingham City have implored players that are making over £6,000 a week to take a temporary wage cut.

With many teams struggling to make ends meet during this period, it’s interesting to see the initiatives that will be explored by the governing bodies during this period.

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