Messi says Barca players will take 70% wage cuts, help fund staff pay
Quality Sport Images / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Find out the latest on COVID-19's impact on the sports world and when sports are returning by subscribing to Breaking News push notifications in the Sports and COVID-19 section.

With Lionel Messi leading the charge, it was announced Monday that Barcelona players will sacrifice most of their wages in order to help limit the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Messi confirmed players have agreed to a 70% pay cut and added that he and his teammates will make additional financial contributions to ensure the club's employees receive their full pay during the Spanish lockdown.

"For our part, the moment has arrived to announce that, aside from the 70% wage cut during the state of emergency, we are going to also make contributions so that all the club's employees can earn 100% of their salaries for as long as this situation lasts," Messi wrote in a statement posted to Instagram, as translated by Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden of ESPN.

Barcelona issued a similar statement confirming the club will also contribute funds to fully guarantee "the salaries of all non-sporting staff at the club."

A report last week suggested players had rejected Barcelona's proposal to slash salaries, but Messi insisted he and his teammates, who earn more than €500 million annually between them, always intended to reduce their wages. He added that the players are surprised club officials would attempt to pressure them to make such financial sacrifices:

We want to clarify that our desire has always been for a reduction to be applied to our salaries because we understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are the first that have ALWAYS helped the club with what they have asked of us.

Many times we have even done things on our own accord, at moments when we felt it necessary or important to do so.

For that reason, it doesn't cease to surprise us that from inside the club there would be people that want to put us under a magnifying glass or try to pressure us into something that we were always clear we wanted to do. In fact, if the agreement has dragged on, it's because we were looking for a formula to help the club and its workers in these difficult times.

Barcelona's ownership model prohibits outside investment, and the Catalan club reportedly fears the ongoing suspension of the season will have a severe impact on its finances.

Atletico Madrid, Espanyol, and Alaves have also announced plans to reduce wages until football in Spain resumes.

La Liga matches in Spain have been indefinitely suspended since March 12 as the nation struggles to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Spain, the second-most heavily affected nation in Europe behind Italy, surpassed China with 85,195 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday. There have been 7,340 deaths.

Messi says Barca players will take 70% wage cuts, help fund staff pay
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox