Wage cuts to hit Barcelona despite player protestations

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Barcelona have formally begun the process to introduce a wage cut on players and staff, the La Liga club confirmed today, the latest move to mitigate the crippling effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on its finances.

Barca announced a record loss of €97 million earlier this month and a 14 per cent fall in revenue from the previous year, but said it was braced for far bigger reductions this season.

The club imposed a temporary pay cut of 70 per cent earlier this year lasting the duration of the national state of alarm, which began in March and ended in June.

“The impact of the pandemic this year is much stronger than in the previous one, in which the incidence was limited to the last quarter. The current season will be affected in its entirety, so the negative impact will multiply exponentially,” said the club in a statement.

“The club anticipates a drop in revenue of more than 30% and is therefore compelled to find immediate solutions that will help reduce spending.”

The pandemic led to La Liga pausing for three months before resuming without spectators, badly affecting match day and commercial revenue.

Supporters are not expected back in to Spanish top-flight stadiums until a vaccine is widely available, from January at the earliest.

While all players agreed to the previous pay cut and took an extra hit to ensure non-sporting staff continued to receive their full pay packets during the state of alarm, many members of the squad have opposed the latest round of cuts.

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, defenders Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and midfielder Frenkie de Jong have already agreed to the temporary pay cut, which has been incorporated into new contracts for the four players which were announced yesterday.

Spain’s footballer’s union (AFE) said earlier today that they supported the players in opposing the pay cuts as they were not receiving the appropriate representation in negotiations.

The first team squad have neglected to choose a player to represent them in the negotiations due to their opposition, although Barca said they would welcome their representation.

“The club’s aim is to reach an agreement with its entire workforce, which will go through a joint solution of temporary, gradual, proportional, and specific salary adjustment for each of the groups,” added the club’s statement.

“All of this will surely help meet this season’s budget and lay the groundwork for the challenges ahead once this global health crisis is over.” -Reuters

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