FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has made the official announced about the pay cut the club's first team players are taking and hit out at those "from within the club" who are trying to malign their images. Earlier, there were reports stating that the first team players had refused a pay cut.
Messi announced that Barcelona's first team players have always had the intent of taking a drop in their salaries because they understand the situation they are all dealing with.
Football clubs all over the world have started to feel the effects of the suspended season with everyone going through losses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Messi said the team players are taking a 70 per cent reduction in their salaries and on top of that they will also make contribution to help the club's employees take 100 per cent salaries.
Messi also clarified that the delay in the announcement and decision has been because they were all looking to find real solutions to helping the clubs and the ones "most affected by this situation".
Here is Messi's statement in full:
"A lot has been written and said about the FC Barcelona soccer first team in what refers to the salaries of the players during this State of Alarm period. First of all, we want to clarify that our intent has always been to apply a drop in the salary that we receive, because we fully understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are the first to have always helped the club when asked. Many times we have even done it on our own initiative, at other times that we thought (it was) necessary or important.
"For this reason it never ceases to amaze us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure to do something that we always knew we would do. In fact, if the agreement has been delayed for a few days, it is simply because we were looking for a formula to help the club and also its workers in these difficult times.
"On our part, the time has come to announce that, apart from the reduction of 70 per cent of our salaries during the State of Alarm, we will also make contributions so that the club's employees can collect 100 per cent of their salaries while this situation lasts.
"If we did not speak until now, it was (not only) because the priority for us was to find real solutions to help the club, but also (to help) those who were most affected by this situation.
"We don't want to say goodbye without sending an affectionate greeting and a lot of strength to all the culers who are having a hard time in these very difficult times, as well as all those who patiently await the end of this crisis at home. Very soon we will get out of this and we will all do it together. Visca Barça and visca Catalunya!"