Argentine striker and FC Barcelona captain, Leo Messi, confirmed on Monday that Barcelona players have accepted a 70 percent pay cut as long as the coronavirus situation continues.
He said that this will enable all of the club’s employees continue to collect one hundred percent of their salary.
In making the announcement Messi criticised the club itself for “putting the players under the magnifying glass”, as, in recent days, it had suggested that the players were putting obstacles in the way of an agreement when all they were actually doing was “trying to find the best formula to help the club and it’s employees.”
“For our part, the time has come to announce that, apart from the reduction of our salaries by 70 percent we will also make additional contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salaries for as long as this situation lasts,” Messi announced on his social networks.
In addition to accepting the club’s ERTE, (Temporary suspension of employment contract), the squad has now also promised to help employees to continue to draw their entire salary, “a solution that the players have been working to find, and that has delayed the publication of this agreement,” said Messi.
The club captain said that he was annoyed with the club as people, “from within the club”, insinuated that the football first team squad players were not going to accept the lowering of any agreements, something they did in advance of the other professional teams within the Barcelona family, basketball, handball, hockey and futsal.
“We find it very disappointing that within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and to add pressure for us to do something that we always knew we would do”.
Messi believes that “a lot has been written and said” about the first team squad and their salaries during this period. “First of all, we want to clarify that our will has always been to agree to a cut in the salaries we receive,” he said.
“We fully understand that this is an exceptional situation and we have been the first ones who have ALWAYS helped the club when we have been asked to do so. Many times we have also done things on our own initiative, when we believed it to be necessary or important,” he added.
In addition, the Argentine sent a message of encouragement and hope to the Barcelona fans and to all the Catalans who are having a hard time in these very difficult times.
Following on from Messi’s statement there were messages of support from a number of former Barcelona players. Carlos Puyol, published four applause emoticons and a face blowing a kiss while in his Twitter page Xavi Hernández wrote “All very great! !! Congratulations!! Exemplary as always!”