Barcelona have become the first Spanish football club to officially announce a pay cut for players and club staff as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
Sports in Spain has come to a standstill and Barcelona had to make the move so as to pay their support staff. “Faced with this scenario, the Board of Directors has decided to implement a series of measures to mitigate its effects and reduce the economic effects of this crisis,” said the club in its statement.
“Among the measures adopted, it’s worth noting those related to the workplace are motivated by the need to adapt the contractual obligations of the club staff to the new and temporary circumstances that we are experiencing.”
The club added the measures include “a reduction of the working day, imposed by the circumstances and the protection measures carried out, and, as a consequence, the proportional reduction of the remuneration provided for in the respective contracts.”
The measure should lower the club’s wage bill by around 25 percent at a moment when it is not receiving any income through gate receipts.
Barca also explained it would make all of its facilities available for use by the regional health ministry to help the struggle against the coronavirus. Earlier in the week, it was confirmed that Lionel Messi had made a large donation to the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona and also to hospitals in Argentina.
Real Madrid have said that their Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will be used to store donations of sanitary and other equipment during the crisis, while Leganes made a donation of 200,000 euros to the local Severo Ochoa Hospital, which is one of the hospitals that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus in the Madrid region.
Other clubs are also considering salary caps and donations, with Athletic Club Bilbao striker Inaki Williams commenting that he and his teammates would have “no problem” if they were asked to take a wage cut.