Barcelona’s financial worries remain, after the club failed to agree a much needed pay cut with their top earners.
COVID-19 has had a particularly drastic effect on Barça. Not only have they lost gate receipts, a significant portion of their income also came from the football tourism industry which ground to a halt when the pandemic started.
This loss of revenue, combined with a mammoth wage bill has left the club in dire financial straits. Barça had hoped to agree a 30% pay cut with the players in order to save around €191m (£171m), but after weeks of intense negotiations no agreement has been found.
The club said in a statement (via Goal): “Today, November 11, after several days of intense meetings, and the negotiation was exhausted, the parties have ended the consultation period, without reaching an agreement.
“The negotiating process has revealed the sincere desire of all parties to come to an understanding, including the process of reimbursing wages that must be postponed in the short-term. We have overcome things that previously seemed insurmountable.
“All parties have agreed to give each other until November 23 to reflect and decide whether the proposals that remain on the table are acceptable.”
2020 has been a particularly terrible year for the Blaugrana with plenty of problems both on an off the pitch. Back in August they were humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League just weeks after surrendering the La Liga title to Real Madrid.
In the wake of this result, Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and several other players departed, while Lionel Messi also threatened to leave. Meanwhile, unpopular president Josep Maria Bartomeu was ousted last month.
If an agreement cannot be reached to reduce the wage bill, the club does have the power to unilaterally cut salaries without the player’s consent. However, the players’ union claim that this would represent a breach of contract, and make Barcelona’s top stars free to find a new club.