Soccer Star Lionel Messi and Team Agree to 70% Pay Reduction Amid Coronavirus Crisis
The world’s highest-paid soccer player Lionel Messi and the entire pro club FC Barcelona team will take a 70% pay cut to aid club costs amid the coronavirus pandemic. He made his announcement via Instagram, stating that his squad even agreed to donate 100% of their pay to prevent the club staff from resorting to a salary reduction in the event that the global crisis lasts longer.
As a measure of putting a halt on the spread of the virus, social gatherings are being banned in most parts of the world. This includes the gathering of people in events, soccer matches, and all other sports activities during this state of emergency.
The soccer star wanted to dismiss the criticisms that his team did not agree to a proposed pay reduction, and added that a salary cut was already part of the plan. Messi said that it no longer surprises them that there are people within the club who want to put them in the bad light, pressuring them into doing something which they obviously want to do.
The agreement was only delayed as they were trying to come up with a formula that will best help the club and its employees during the crisis.
Messi is currently the top-paid soccer player in the world. According to Forbes, he has taken home $127 million in the year 2019, which includes his athlete pay, wins, and endorsements salary.
According to a report from Mundo Deportivo, a Spanish media outlet, Messi has even donated over $1 million to treat virus-infected patients and for further research on the pandemic. The donation was split between a clinic in his local native country and Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic. The Barcelona squad is also doing its best to help through its foundation, donating 30,000 masks to the Catalonia government.
Spain is one of the hardest-hit countries highly affected by the pandemic. According to the data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Spain has over 136,000 cases and more than 13,000 deaths to date, straining the country’s healthcare system.
Barcelona has faced a crisis after Messi criticized Eric Abidal, the club’s sporting director, due to the latter’s accusation that the club members were not working hard under coach Ernesto Valverde.
This was after Abidal, who was a former teammate of Messi, expressed his comments about the players in an interview with Sport, a Spanish newspaper company. Hearing about this, Messi then took it to Instagram to hit back on Abidal, criticizing Abidal’s quotes.
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