Lionel Messi. Picture: MANU FERNANDEZ / REUTERS
Lionel Messi. Picture: MANU FERNANDEZ / REUTERS

Barcelona — Barcelona will cut the pay of players, coaches and non-sporting staff to adapt to the huge losses suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a club source says.

Staff have been notified of the need to reduce costs after the club posted a loss of €97m in its annual financial report.

The employees, including players, have been asked to nominate a representative to represent them in the negotiations over changes to their salaries, the source said.

Barca have been forced to hold all home matches without spectators since the pandemic began in March, destroying revenue from ticket sales. Income from merchandising and stadium and museum tours has also been badly affected by a huge drop in tourism to the city.

Barca’s accounts make for grim reading, showing a 14% drop in revenue from the previous year and the doubling of net debt to €488m. The club enacted a temporary pay cut of 70% at the end of March at the height of the pandemic, lasting as long as Spain’s national state of alarm, which ended in June.

Financial troubles led to Barca lightening the biggest wage bill in European football by offloading Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal for next to nothing, while selling Arthur Melo for €72m and Nelson Semedo for €30m. They brought in only three players — Miralem Pjanic, Francisco Trincao and Sergino Dest — for a combined €112m.

They did not make any extra additions before the transfer window shut on Monday, despite showing interest in Manchester City defender Eric Garcia and Olympique Lyonnais forward Memphis Depay.

Reuters

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