Barcelona stars have reportedly turned down a wage reduction put forward by the club, who are looking to minimise their financial losses during the coronavirus outbreak.
Talks are continuing between the board of directors and the club captains – Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto – as they look to reach an agreement.
Though players are willing to have their salaries reduced amid the pandemic, ESPN reports that there is friction between some individuals and members of the board and that Barca stars were unmoved by the initial terms put to them.
However, the Spanish giants are still hopeful of reaching an agreement with their players after reports emerged last Friday that they decided to seek temporary wage cuts during a video conference.
Any wage reduction reached will also apply to the women’s side and Barcelona ’s other sports teams, including their basketball outfit.
But the focus remains on the men’s team, with first-team salaries totalling €500m and taking up roughly half of the club’s annual budget.
Much has been made of the coronavirus outbreak’s negative financial impact on lower-league clubs, but even European giants such as Barcelona are concerned about the implications.
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The Catalan side are owned by their members rather than relying on outside investment, and are currently drawing no money on matchdays amid postponements.
Further, the club’s hugely popular museum is missing out on thousands of visitors per week due to the lockdown in place in Spain.
Competition prize money and broadcasting revenue have also been thrown into uncertainty by COVID-19, though some clubs – including Borussia Dortmund – have already acted to reduce player wages and ease the burden on their bank balances.
ESPN also reports that Premier League bosses will discuss asking players to agree to pay deferrals when the clubs meet via video link on 3 April.
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