Lionel Messi says Barcelona players will take pay cut amid coronavirus shutdown
In a letter critical of Barcelona club officials, Lionel Messi said Monday that he and his teammates are taking a 70% cut in salaries because of the shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Messi wrote in a social media post that the players will also make donations so other club employees are not affected by the upheaval.
“A lot has been said about Barcelona’s first team and the players’ salaries during the country’s state of alarm,” Messi wrote in the letter. “Before anything, we would like to make it clear that we have always wanted to reduce our salaries as we perfectly understand that this is an exceptional situation and we ALWAYS were the first ones to help the club when it asked. Actually, we have done that on our own in moments when we felt it was necessary or important.
“Therefore, it surprises us that within the club there were those who wanted to put us under scrutiny and tried to put us under pressure to do something that we always knew we would be doing.“
Messi said it took a few days to announce the deal because “we were looking for a formula to help the club and also its workers in this very difficult moment.“
The donations the players will make are expected to help cover 100% of the salaries of club employees.
As the coronavirus shuts down sports and keeps fans indoors, a huge opportunity opens for the proliferation of esports.
Earlier this year, Messi publicly complained about club officials after some criticized the players’ efforts amid a controversial coaching change and a run of poor results.
Barcelona said all members of its professional sports teams and most of the basketball team have agreed to a pay cut. It added the club would also be contributing to the salaries of other workers.
Spain has been one of the hardest-hit nations by the pandemic. The country overtook China on Monday with more than 85,000 confirmed infections. It also reported 812 new deaths, raising its overall confirmed death toll to 7,340.
Barcelona said Saturday that it delivered 30,000 masks to the Catalonia government to help fight the pandemic. The club said it was working through its foundation “to do as much as possible to help with this crisis, both locally and internationally.“