The Barcelona dressing room is said to be divided over proposals from the club to cut their salaries while the ongoing coronavirus crisis continues.
The Spanish giants are desperate for their high-earning players to make wage sacrifices if they are to avoid financial meltdown because of the economic impact of the coronavirus, which has halted football across the globe.
Barcelona were already struggling to meet their pre-season budget forecast and those problems have now multiplied as all revenue streams are reduced to almost zero by the effects of the coronavirus.
Club directors held a meeting on Friday where the possibility of cutting players’ salaries was discussed but putting such drastic measures in practice will be complicated.
First team players’ salaries make up over 70 per cent of the club’s wage bill. Barcelona pays their various sports teams £593m (€642m) and £468m (€507m) of that goes to the footballers. It’s those highly-paid players that the club will need to find a way of paying less to in order to cover the sudden drop in income.
The club believe players could take the initiative themselves but that appears to be some way off, given Spanish outlet SPORT are reporting the dressing room is divided about how to proceed while there is no football.
It is claimed the dressing room is ‘split into three groups’. The first simply reject the proposed plan.
It is reported that this group includes some top earners, meaning they would suffer the most if their wages were slashed.
A second group of players, reportedly said to include some high-profile figures in the dressing room, are fully supportive of the plan.
That, surely, must include Lionel Messi who earlier this week joined his old boss Pep Guardiola in donating €1million (£916,000) to help in the fight against coronavirus.
This group has not given the go-ahead just yet but are said to be ‘willing’ to agree to the proposition.
A third group within the first-team squad are said to be happy to wait and see what resolution the Spanish Footballers’ Association reach.
It is claimed the body has held talks with La Liga and reached a deal whereby players would sacrifice 10 per cent of their salaries while no football is being played and talks are ongoing.