Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi said that players are “surprised” that people within the club would pressure the players into taking wage cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the squad is happy to take a 70% pay cut on their salaries, according to ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden.
Additionally, Messi, 32, said the players will also make a contribution so that none of the non-sporting staff’s earnings will be reduced during Spain’s state of emergency in response to the pandemic. The state of emergency has been in place since March 12th.
The Argentine forward was listed as the top earning soccer player on the Forbes’ Rich List in 2019 with his earnings reportedly reaching $127 million during 2019, a combination of both his salary and his wages earned from endorsements.
Per the report, the 70% salary reduction will only come from his salary, and not from his endorsements.
Barca has officially confirmed that an agreement has been reached with the squad for players to take a temporary hit to their wages as the club deals with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic that is impacting the globe.
We want to clarify that our desire has always been for a reduction to be applied to our salaries because we understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are the first that have ALWAYS helped the club with what they have asked of us,” the initial statement from Messi said.
“Many times we have even done things on our own accord, at moments when we felt it necessary or important to do so.
“For that reason, it doesn’t cease to surprise us that from inside the club there would be people that want to put us under a magnifying glass or try to pressure us into something that we were always clear we wanted to do. In fact, if the agreement has dragged on, it’s because we were looking for a formula to help the club and its workers in these difficult times.
“For our part, the moment has arrived to announce that, aside from the 70% wage cut during the State of Emergency, we are going to also make contributions so that all the club’s employees can earn 100% of their salaries for as long as this situation lasts.”
The contributions from the Barca players is meaningful, as it means that non-sporting staff will now continue to earn their full wage.
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