FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that Lionel Messi never opposed the board's decision to implement salary cuts as a means of dealing with the financial loss that the club is exposed to because of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Messi had confirmed that Barcelona's first team footballers would accept a 70 percent pay cut. The legend also said that the players would make financial contributions to help their club pay its other employees in full amidst the crisis in Spain.
Messi released a statement on Instagram, where he took a swipe at the Barça board. The Argentine behemoth accused them of undermining the club's players during their recent negotiations.
Messi wrote, "For our part, the time has come to announce that, as well as the reduction of 70 percent of our salary during the state of alarm, we will also make contributions so that the club's employees can collect 100 percent of their salary while this situation lasts. We want to clarify that our desire has always been to apply a drop in salary because we fully understand that this is an exceptional situation."
He also wrote that numerous times, it was the players who took the initiative to help the institution cope with temporary struggles. As a result, Messi says that he and his teammates are amazed to find themselves under the magnifying glass.
As soon as Messi published the message, it was reposted on the pages of majority of his club teammates such as Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal, Jordi Alba, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Frenkie de Jong.
For quite a few months now, the relationship between Barca's board and the players has been in a tense situation. This all started in February, after Messi's public criticism of the club's technical secretary, Eric Abidal.
It is expected that other La Liga clubs will soon follow suit as many are looking to implement temporary pay cuts. Going in a different direction, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane stated that he is not pushing for pay cuts since he believes the club is financially sound.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has left some European clubs and their employees fighting for financial survival. Earlier, Atletico Madrid mentioned that they would impose a salary cut on those staff whose working hours have been affected because of the outbreak. RCD Espanyol has also confirmed employee pay cuts.