Lionel Messi has confirmed that he and his Barcelona team-mates will take pay cuts of up to 70 per cent in order to reduce club losses during the coronavirus crisis, reports Goal.
La Liga has been suspended since March 12 following the outbreak of Covid-19, with the enforced break increased from two weeks to an indefinite postponement on March 23.With no games on the horizon meaning matchday and television revenue has dried up, Barcelona recently announced cost-cutting measures to keep the club viable as a business during the suspension.
Messi confirmed that he and the first-team squad have agreed to take significant wage cuts for the foreseeable future in order to help protect the jobs of the non-playing staff at Camp Nou.
In a statement in Spanish on his personal Instagram page, Messi said: “We fully understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are always the first ones to help the club when asked.”
He also said that the players, as well as taking 70 per cent pay cuts, would make further contributions so that other Barcelona employees would be able to collect 100 per cent of their salaries.
Other Barcelona players, including Luis Suarez, also shared the same statement to show a united front with Spain among the world’s worst affected countries by coronavirus.
It also claims figures within the club were putting pressures on the players to act, however there was always a plan within the first-team squad to make a gesture in solidarity with their fellow employees.The statement reads: “Much has been written and said about the Barcelona team in regards to the salaries of the players during this state of emergency.
“We want to clarify that our will has always been to take a cut in the salary we receive, because we fully understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are always the first ones to help the club when asked.
“Therefore, it does not surprise us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under pressure to do something we always knew we would do.
“The agreement has been delayed for a few days because we were looking for a formula to help the club and its workers during these difficult times.