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The president of FC Barcelona has spoken after the press statement published on 30 March in which it was explained that the Board of Directors and the members of the professional sports teams and the majority of the basketball team had reached an agreement to reduce their wages during the state of alert. Josep Maria Bartomeu has given interviews to the the sports newspapers Mundo Deportivo, Sport and Esportiu de Catalunya. We take a look below at what he said:
The agreement with the players
"Yes, I am obviously happy, right from the off I wanted it to be an agreement, not an impositio; we wanted to reach an agreement because that is the best for Barça. We preferred to wait to talk it over with them and that it was not something imposed. There has been a desire to get it done from the first minute of the first day. Their agreement is a gesture that shows their commitment to the Club.
"The first meeting with the players took place on Friday 20 with Òscar Grau and it was a videoconference with Messi, Busquets, Piqué and Sergi Roberto. There was 10 days of constant dialogue. There has been a lot of talk and it is true that people inside the Club and outside have given opinions without knowing the reality of the situation.
"There are lots of measures to help soften the reduction of income. Yet none of them could get under way without the agreement with the first team players because they are the foundation.
"The gesture towards the Club's employees is a show of support. Now, with the employees we are negotiating an ERTO (temporary redundancy) and so they can keep receiving 100% of their wages, the squad and the Club is making an effort. It is a shared effort and for the players it means 2% more."
"In round figures, per month it is some 14 million in pre-tax waged for the first team and for the rest of the team 2 million as it is the basic salary and not bonuses. In total it's a cut of 16 million a month."
Grateful to the other sections
"There is an agreement with everyone. I would like to thank the players, coaches and staff from the professional teams, basketball, futsal, handball, roller hockey, Barça Women, Barça B and the U19s. It is an enormous effort to reduce it by 70%."
"It is the club with greatest revenue in the world. Although it is true that it will not reach 1,050 millions budgeted for, by February we were on for a record, way above predictions."
The economic impact of COVID-19
"We have no tickets sales, income from TV rights, hospitality, shops, Museum, Escoles. There has been a great decrease in revenue and we are trying to compensate with the reduction is salaries for the sportspeople, employees, including top executives and other ways of reducing costs and projects that can be put on hold."
"For the last few days we have been studying how to adjust when the pandemia is over. We will change models and the way we do things...Barça will have to adapt and be a pioneer. We have been the first to do something, this time with ERTO in La Liga."
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