Barcelona are ready to take forceful action with players’ contracts in an attempt to regulate the financial crisis that has engulfed the club.
La Blaugrana president Joan Laporta desperately needs to balance the books in order to abide by La Liga’s salary cap rules ahead of the start of the 2021/22 season and, in attempt to do so, will look to make adjustments to certain players’ contracts – players that have salaries regarded as ‘high’.
Spanish outlet Marca have identified four players who the club regard as high earners and whose salaries they wish to decrease. Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto are all on big money and, taking into account length of contract remaining and potential renewals, the club will look to propose changes to their salaries.
All four players have been long-term servants to the club. Pique has been at Camp Nou since 2008 while Alba joined in 2012 – both having spent time in Barcelona’s youth set up. Meanwhile, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto are both La Masia products who have never turned out for another club.
Despite their ties to Barcelona, the club are desperate for them to take pay cuts amid financial turmoil. Despite La Blaugrana’s tough situation, Marca report that some talks between the club and players’ agents have bore no fruit, with at least one player unwilling to take a reduction in salary.
Laporta will take whatever action is needed to stabilise Barcelona’s economic position and meet the league’s salary cap, however. The club are already trying to offload deadwood and other high earners within their ranks; Martin Braithwaite, Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic are some of the players that Laporta is keen to move on, while Antoine Griezmann has entered a whole transfer saga of his own this summer.
Barça’s president is hopeful the players will cooperate so the club can register their four new signings – Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Emerson and Memphis Depay – and re-sign current free agent Lionel Messi, whose contract expired on 1 July.
Messi is expected to agree to a new deal soon, with the Argentine reportedly taking a 50% wage cut to be able to remain at Barcelona. Departures and other salary reductions will be needed for him to register before the commencement of the 2021/22 season.