Barça players refuse to negotiate salary reduction
Players insist they are not required to do so under the same conditions as other employees
BarcelonaBarça players will not discuss the wage reduction that the club proposes as a result of the covid-19 crisis. According to SER radio station, players do not believe this subject should be dealt with in the same way as with the rest of the club's workers. The board, however, insists on the need to reach an agreement with the players in order to avoid another year of financial losses.
Barça's income was reduced by 200 million euro during the 2019-20 season and the club ended up with losses of 97 million. The forecast is that this season income will be reduced by 100 million euro. Thus, the club insists the only option to avoid a negative bottom line is a wage cut. As a whole, Barça players earn almost 650 million euro. The board claims there is no alternative. They suggest that rather than the players losing out on this money, they would be able to recoup it once the pandemic is over.
On the other hand, the club's workers represent about 51 million of annual expenditure, according to the last budget. Although the figure is much lower in comparison, the board also wants to renegotiate these salaries to help balance the numbers. Despite opposition from the workforce, the club hopes the exceptional situation will help them obtain institutional backing.
Team vs Board
The negotiation comes at a delicate moment because of the confrontation between the the players and the management. This conflict climaxed in Messi's attempt to leave the club over the summer. The board is trying to make players understand that an empty Camp Nou and a coronavirus crisis mean the same income is not generated and, therefore, contracts signed before the pandemic cannot be met. The board claims this explanation was accepted by many players.
But what they do not accept is a collective bargaining, especially with the club's other employees. Players' contracts have additional clauses and bonuses for winning titles they want to keep. For this reason the vast majority of footballers - not all - stated their disagreement to the management. "This is an internal issue and people trained to work on these issues will do their job", said goalkeeper Neto, not wanting to stoke the fire.
The club, which hopes to cut salaries by 25%, wants to close the matter before the end of the year. It is now coming round to the idea that it will have to talk individually with each player to find a solution. The conflict, therefore, remains very open.