Josep Maria Bartomeu’s latest wage cut proposal has been rejected by the senior Barcelona squad.
The Blaugrana president can’t seem to catch a break at the moment with his credibility reducing by the day as he prepares for a vote of no confidence on 1 and 2 November after the threshold for required votes (16,250) was met by club members.
Bartomeu, who took up the presidency in 2014, will leave his post in 2021 regardless, but his perceived incompetence has led to a bid to hasten his exit.
The 57-year-old was called out earlier in the summer by superstar Lionel Messi following the Argentine’s U-turn over a summer exit, while he has faced heavy criticism over the club’s ballooning wage bill, poor recruitment strategy and even corruption charges.
He’s now taken another blow with the Blaugrana first team rejecting his latest wage cut proposals.
Marca reports that the Barça president had requested a 30% drop in salary for his players and the club’s employees, opening a negotiating window which was to run until 22 October.
But, the Blaugrana players sent a direct rejection to Bartomeu’s office via the infamous burofax – the service Messi used to express his desire to leave the club earlier in the summer.
There was also the possibility of an additional period of time to 5 November to agree on an alternate reduction amount, but the players have said they won’t accept it.
Nevertheless, Barcelona remain confident the situation will be resolved through an agreement with the players. But if that proves impossible, the club’s hierarchy could impose wage cuts unilaterally – which I’m sure will go down just fine.
Bartomeu’s proposals come amid financial concerns in Catalonia which were present even before the arrival of COVID-19. They made a reported €97m loss as a result of the pandemic, which forced them to cut ties with a number of senior players in the summer; namely Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic.
The club’s hierarchy, however, have been able to reduce their operating costs by 19% compared to 2019/20, while they were ‘successful’ in balancing the clubs books in the summer.