COVID-19: Barcelona players reject pay cut, want separate negotiations from other club’s staff

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Barcelona senior squad members have rejected the latest salary cut plans of the club.

The Catalan club is already owing about €488m as debt amid the coronavirus pandemic. This was revealed in an announcement by the club.

Barca had announced losses of €97 million for the 2019-20 season and confirmed that their total debt has doubled to €488m s COVID-19 continues to take its toll on the club.

Barca senior players turned down Josep Bartomeu on salary cut

In Spain and England, games still remain behind closed doors unlike some European top countries like Germany, Italy, and France where a measurable number of fans are allowed into the stand in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol of their respective governments.

Another ordeal for Josep Bartomeu as Barca players reject pay cut

This is going to be another ordeal for Barca president, Josep Maria Bartomeu.

The president, who might not be re-elected in the club’s next election. In the midst of a huge motion of no-confidence against him, it appears Bartomeu already knew that his time might be over soon at the club. More of the reason why they are aiming to retain Lionel Messi.

Many Barca players have called for reform both on and off the field, with Bartomeu expected to resign, but he is still in charge.

The latest rejection of the salary cut proposal, therefore, shows that the Barcelona president is in the unenviable position of incredible unpopularity amongst both fans and players.

One could argue much of that was his own doing. Messi had criticized the club on many occasions. The Argentine had tendered his transfer request at the club some weeks after 8-2 hammering from Bayern Munich. But it was turned down, with the club insisting that he run down his final year.

It is believed that once Bartomeu and his executives are out of the way in the next election, the new board can negotiate with Messi for a new contract.

Such situation has made Bartomeu’s credibility to take an even bigger blow. The latest is now the senior players’ refusal of his latest plans to save the club some money.

Lionel Messi has been critical of Josep Bartomeu

In response to the proposal, Los Cules’ players sent a direct negative response to the office of the president. According to RAC 1, Bartomeu had requested a 30 percent drop in salary for his players and the club’s employees, opening a negotiating window which was to run until October 22.

The negotiation period could be extended to November 5. This is to agree on an alternate reduction amount, but the players have said they won’t accept it.

Barcelona senior players give Bartomeu condition

The condition given by the senior players is that their negotiations be separate from that of the club’s other staff members on the basis that their situations are different.

Despite the setback, the club is hoping to reach an agreement on the matter. In a situation they couldn’t reach an agreement, they might introduce pay-cutting measures unilaterally.

While the budgetary concerns lie within the corridors of power at the Camp Nou. This is despite the fact Bartomeu and his administration have managed to reduce their operating costs by 19 percent compared to 2019/20.

It’s not a surprise when you consider the level of spending from the Catalan club in recent years. Barca is no doubt one of the most impacted football club in Spain with regards to COVID-19.

They have already lost 97 million euros due to the pandemic and were more than ready to release several players in the summer to reduce their expenditure on salary.

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