FC Barcelona and Espanyol announce wage reductions for players and staff
La Liga clubs losing out on matchday revenue, stadium and museum visits, and merchandise sales
FC Barcelona and Espanyol have both announced temporary wage reductions as La Liga clubs begin to feel the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
As well as the announcement of a reduction of hours for staff, both clubs have offered their facilities to the authorities to help fight the spread of the covid-19 disease which has already claimed the lives of thousands of people across Spain.
Current table toppers, Barça, initially began a negotiation phase with their playing staff in order to come to an agreement over wage reductions while no competitions can be played, but while local media reported that the players were at first receptive to the idea it’s understood that the club’s proposal was then rejected.
A statement from Barcelona on March 27 initially announced that the club were imposing unilateral wage reductions on staff, after it had been reported that negotiations with the players to voluntarily reduce their salaries during this time of crisis had broken down.
“Basically this is a reduction of the working day, imposed by the circumstances and the protection measures carried out, and, as a consequence, the proportional reduction of the remuneration provided for in the respective contracts,” a statement on FC Barcelona’s website read.
On Monday, March 30, some players such as club captain Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué made the announcement that the playing staff accepted a 70% reduction in pay, a move which they believe would allow the club to continue paying 100% of the salary to other club staff.
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In his statement, Messi outlined that the team’s intention was always to take the pay cut in order to ensure the full wages of lower earners at the club. He also went on to explain his feelings that some within the club had tried to put pressure on the team to make such a decision.
Espanyol, meanwhile, say that their measures will affect “players, first coaches, second coaches and physical trainers of the men's and women's first team,” as well as Espanyol B, who play in the third tier of Spanish football, and their youth teams.
“The requested measure consists of a 70% reduction in working hours,” their statement explains. “It is contemplated that those affected maintain certain physical activity with individual training plans as long as the competition cannot be resumed.
Facilities offered to help fight coronavirus
Elsewhere, both teams have announced that they have made their facilities available for the needs of the authorities for both health and/or logistical reasons.
Espanyol announced that their stadium as well as their training ground will be at the disposal of the Catalan government.
FC Barcelona inform that they’ve made their “club facilities, both sporting and annexes,” available to the government, as well as the Barça Innovation Hub, which will assist research centers such as Hospital Clínic, Hospital Trias i Pujol and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, among others.
The Innovation Hub will “offer their collaboration and coordination in research actions related to the impact of the coronavirus on sport.”