Coronavirus: Messi reveals why Barcelona players accepted 70 percent pay cut

Coronavirus: Messi reveals why Barcelona players accepted 70 percent pay cut

Coronavirus: Messi reveals why Barcelona players accepted 70 percent pay cut

First of all, we want to clarify that our intent has always been to apply a drop in the salary that we receive, because we fully understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are the first to have always helped the club when asked.

"Many times we have even done it on our own initiative, at other times that we thought [it was] necessary or important".

"For this reason it never ceases to amaze us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure to do something that we always knew we would do".

Messi said an agreement was delayed because the team was "looking for a formula" to help the club and workers.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona scores his sides third goal from a free kick during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match against Liverpool at the Nou Camp past year.

The reigning world footballer of the year now earns $90 million annually in salary and partially guaranteed bonus before taxes, thanks to a contract extension he signed in November 2017 that commits him to Camp Nou through June 2021.

He will still earn £150,000 a week ($NZ309,000) a week after having his salary slashed.

Barca have now also confirmed that an agreement has been reached for the players to take a temporary hit to their wages as the club struggles to deal with the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis.

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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.

"A lot has been written and said about the football first team at FC Barcelona, when it comes to the players' salaries during this state of alarm", the statement, shared on his Instagram account and also released by strike partner Luis Suarez, read. Messi also took a swipe at the club's board, led by Josep Maria Bartomeu, who he accused of undermining the players recently.

"In the case of the football first team, the reduction will be over 70% of that originally agreed with the club".

"That additional contribution from the squad...allows us to guarantee the full salaries of all non-sporting staff".

"The club wishes to show its gratitude to its professional athletes during such an exceptional situation", it added.

"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.

La Liga has been suspended since March 12 following the outbreak of Covid-19, with the enforced break increased from two weeks to an indefinite postponement on March 23. The country overtook China on Monday (Tuesday NZT) for confirmed infections with more than 85,000.

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