FC Barcelona are close to exhausting all possible means to help them balance their books. The Spanish La Liga season starts in less than a month, and the club has yet to successfully get within the allowable salary cap. As such, club president Joan Laporta will be left with some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks.
As previously reported, Barcelona management has been approaching players about proposed wage cuts for the coming season. Marca reports that the club has offered varying terms of salary adjustments to different players depending on the current status of their contracts.
It was initially believed that a further 40% wage reduction would be asked on top of the 10% that was already implemented late last year. However, the amount now appears to be different for every player.
This situation affects those who are included in manager Ronald Koeman's plans for next season, but are considered to be high earners. Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto are believed to be at least some of the players that have been approached, but not all of them are keen on accepting the proposal.
The fact is, none of them are really obligated to accept lower fees, owing to the fact that they have existing contracts with the club. It will all be a matter of discretion, and how much they are willing to sacrifice for the club.
Some believe that the club's financial troubles were brought about by poor management, and the players have been left to pay for the mistakes. The pandemic did not help the situation either, with the club losing massive revenue streams which could have helped them keep their heads above water.
The pandemic has already compelled the players and the entire Barcelona organisation to accept salary reductions last season, but cutting salaries further has not been as readily accepted. Likewise, the club has been having difficulties when it comes to selling their players at a fair price.
Most other clubs are struggling with finances as well, and with full knowledge of Barcelona's desperate situation, not many are willing to match the club's valuation of their players for sale.
Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic and Antoine Griezmann have been put on the market, in an attempt to generate funds from transfer fees and to get their wages off the bill. Unfortunately, every major deal has fallen through so far.
Barcelona need to register their four new signings, as well as ratify Lionel Messi's new contract. They are still a long way off meeting La Liga's financial fair play salary cap, making it impossible to re-sign Messi.
It remains to be seen what Laporta can pull out of his hat in the next few crucial weeks.