Lionel Messi, Phillipe Coutinho and Barcelona stars facing new pay cut - reports

Spanish giants face financial turbulence as a result of coronavirus

Ronald Koeman has said he has spoken with Lionel Messi about Luis Suarez's exit from Barcelona. Reuters
Ronald Koeman has said he has spoken with Lionel Messi about Luis Suarez's exit from Barcelona. Reuters

Barcelona have begun a process to reduce the pay of players, coaches and non-sporting staff to adapt to the huge losses suffered due to Covid-19, according to reports.

Staff have been notified by the club of the need to reduce costs after posting a loss of €97 million ($113.98 million) in their annual financial report, released on Monday.

The employees, including Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho and their teammates, have been asked to nominate a representative over the next two weeks to represent them in the negotiations over the changes to their salaries, according to Reuters.

Barca have been forced to hold all home matches without spectators since the pandemic began in March, destroying revenue from ticket sales. Income from merchandising and stadium and museum tours has also been badly affected by a huge drop in tourism to the city.

Barca's accounts on Wednesday made for grim reading, showing a 14 per cent drop in revenue from the previous year and the doubling of their net debt to €488m.

The club enacted a temporary pay cut of 70 per cent at the end of March during the height of the pandemic, lasting the duration of Spain's national state of alarm, which ended in June.

Barca's financial troubles also led them to spend the close season lightening the biggest wage bill in European football, offloading Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal for next to nothing, while selling Arthur Melo for €72m and Nelson Semedo for €30m.

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They only brought in three players, Miralem Pjanic, Francisco Trincao and Sergino Dest for a combined €112m.

They failed to make any extra additions before the transfer window shut on Monday, despite showing interest in Manchester City defender Eric Garcia and Olympique Lyonnais forward Memphis Depay.

Published: October 7, 2020 04:02 PM

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