Barcelona need to trim €190 million ($222 million) from their wage bill or they run the risk of going bankrupt as early as the start of next year, according to reports in Spain.
Spanish outlet RAC1 reported that a deadline of November 5 has been set for the club to agree wage cuts in order to set out the budget for this season.
The club have been hit hard by the pandemic, with projected income dropping from €1,047 million to €828 million.
Barca’s astronomical wage bill was set to take up 61% of their projected income – putting it around €639 million – but with their revenue dropping significantly that percentage would rise close to 80 percent and be unsustainable.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the board of directors resigned on Tuesday.
Before departing, he made some headway into cutting the wage bill by handing out new contracts to four first-team stars – Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Frenkie de Jong and Marc-Andre ter Stegen – all of which included temporary salary changes.
Pique is reportedly among Barca’s top earners on €200,000 per week. Antoine Griezmann takes home €326,000 while Lionel Messi is paid a staggering €554,000 each week.
Barcelona’s first-team squad have already undergone a round of pay-cuts this year, and it’s said that with the new deals they will not receive a reduced salary.
Rather, they will have the same amount of money paid to them in total, but spread out through smaller instalments over a longer period of time.
Initial talks were reportedly held with the players on Friday, with the squad said to be understanding of the club’s position and content to work with interim president Carles Tusquets.
Early in October, Barcelona revealed their debt had more than doubled in the last financial year and they had gone from projecting a small profit to a €97 million (£88.5 million) loss.