Just like the entire football community around the world, FC Barcelona has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the financial strain that it brings. However, not many other clubs are paying such high salaries to their roster. With negotiations currently underway, the Catalan giants may be risking losing a big chunk of their stellar roster when the January transfer window comes around.

Barcelona is lowering the wages of everyone in its payroll. The first-team players have not been spared from the move, and they will be part of the club's initiative to modify "conditions of employment."

According to Marca, each department has been tasked to choose a representative who will take part in the negotiations. That representative must be named within the next 15 days. Thereafter, negotiations will take place for a period of one month. At the conclusion of the designated time period, which is a month and a half from now, the lowered wages may already be in place.

Some of the club's top players may not entirely be agreeable to Barcelona management's proposals. If this happens, the club may find itself with a mass exodus in January. Players will be well within their rights to look into the Workers' Statute and ask to be released from their current contracts. Apart from having to release players for free, Barcelona may also need to pay 20 days' salary for those who won't accept the proposed new employment terms.

In order to prevent such a crisis, Barcelona may opt to leave the players out of the scheme altogether. They may also choose to approach each player and negotiate separately.

It is unclear where Lionel Messi figures in all of this, since he was basically "forced" to stay with the club this season. He had expressed his desire to leave, but the club insisted that his release clause worth 700 million euros (GBP 630m) must be paid before he can complete a transfer.

In order to avoid an ugly court case, Messi opted to see out the rest of his contract until the end of the current season. However, it is unclear if he will still be agreeable if he is faced with the possibility of a pay cut.

Lionel Messi and Josep Maria Bartomeu
If Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu had not blocked him, Lionel Messi looked certain to leave the club AFP / Manu Fernandez