Coronavirus: Barcelona file claim to cut wages with LaLiga on hold

By Sports Desk March 26, 2020

Barcelona have confirmed they will make reductions in wages for all of their staff due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain has been in a state of alarm since March 14 and remains one of the countries to be worst-hit by the spread of COVID-19, with 4,154 confirmed deaths.

LaLiga has been suspended indefinitely, with the RFEF having announced on Monday that professional football in Spain would only resume when the government give the go-ahead.

It was reported on Wednesday that Barca's squad refused to take a 70 per cent pay cut and the club, after a meeting of the board, have now confirmed they have filed a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) process.

The ERTE will impact both sports staff – including the men's senior squad and all professional teams  – and non-sports staff.

"Among the measures adopted, it's worth noting those related to the workplace are motivated by the need to adapt the contractual obligations of the club staff to the new and temporary circumstances that we are experiencing," a Barca statement read.

"It is about the presentation of the different relative files in the sporting field (football and other professional sports), as well as for the rest of the non-sporting personnel.

"These files will be processed before the Treball Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya, once the club has shared all aspects related to these measures, and their scope, with all its staff, both sporting and non-sporting.

"Basically, it is a reduction of the working day, imposed by the circumstances and the protection measures carried out, and, as a consequence, the proportional reduction of the remuneration provided for in the respective contracts.

"Measures that the club wants to implement scrupulously follow the formal labour regulations, under the criteria of proportionality, and above all fairness, and with the sole objective of resuming the activity of the club as soon as possible."

Barca have also announced a number of initiatives they are launching in an attempt to help combat the pandemic.

Club facilities have been made available to the Health Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya, while the Barca Innovation Hub has been opened up as a research centre for local hospitals and clinics.

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    When Barcelona were in danger of losing to Arsenal in the 2009-10 Champions League quarter-finals, Lionel Messi – as he so often does – turned the game on its head.

    Monday marks 10 years since Messi took that game against Arsenal by the scruff of the neck and produced one of the stand-out displays of his illustrious career.

    The Argentina great has lifted the Champions League trophy on four occasions and is the second-highest scoring player in the competition's history, sitting 14 adrift of all-time leader Cristiano Ronaldo's haul of 128 goals.

    We take a look back at some of Messi's greatest performances in the Champions League

     

    April 6, 2010 – Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal (6-3 agg)

    After they came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the first leg at Emirates Stadium, Nicklas Bendtner put Arsenal ahead for the first time in the tie after 19 minutes in the return game at Camp Nou.

    Messi ensured it was Barcelona who progressed to the semi-finals, though.

    He slammed a stunning finish past Manuel Almunia two minutes later and slotted home a pass from Pedro to double his tally.

    A stunning chip over Almunia gave Messi his hat-trick before half-time, and he rounded off the 4-1 victory by grabbing a fourth at the second attempt after the Arsenal keeper stopped his initial effort at the end of a fine solo run.

     

    April 27, 2011 – Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona

    A semi-final Clasico made for a mouth-watering prospect and, of course, Messi delivered on the grand stage.

    No list of his greatest goals would be complete without his second against arch-rivals Madrid. A one-two with Sergio Busquets enabled him to race free of Lassana Diarra and he shifted through the gears to skip away from Sergio Ramos and Raul Albiol.

    He then darted in front of Marcelo and slid the ball beyond Iker Casillas to silence the Santiago Bernabeu.

    A 1-1 draw in the second leg sent Barca into the final to face Manchester United…

     

    May 28, 2011 – Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United

    In a repeat of the 2009 final, the outcome at Wembley proved the same.

    Messi caused Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic problems from the off and, with the game locked at 1-1 after Wayne Rooney cancelled out Pedro's opener, he found the back of the nine minutes after half-time.

    After dropping deep from his centre-forward position, he received a pass from Andres Iniesta and drove forward before unleashing a powerful effort into the bottom-right corner.

    David Villa completed the scoring as Barca came out on top against Alex Ferguson's side again.

     

    March 7, 2012 – Barcelona 7-1 Bayer Leverkusen

    Leverkusen were on the receiving end of the greatest individual goalscoring display in Champions League history.

    Messi became the first player to score five in a single game in Europe's premier club competition, enrapturing Camp Nou with a supreme performance in the second leg of this last-16 tie.

    He got the ball rolling by scooping a long pass from Xavi beyond Bernd Leno, while his second came in trademark fashion – dribbling across the box from the right and firing a left-footed shot into the corner.

    After a delightful chip to secure his hat-trick in the 49th minute, a stunning exchange of passes with Pedro preceded an error from Leno that Messi nipped in to punish.

    A cool 18-yard finish left coach Pep Guardiola with an astonished look on his face. He had witnessed a performance for the ages.

     

    May 6, 2015 – Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich

    Guardiola returning to Camp Nou as Bayern boss was the big story ahead of kick-off, but Messi was the only subject of conversation after the final whistle.

    It took 77 minutes for Messi to find the breakthrough, and his second three minutes later likely still gives Jerome Boateng nightmares.

    He sent Germany international Boateng to the deck by turning inside and back out on the right side of the box. He then sent a wonderful dink over Manuel Neuer.

    To cap things off Messi fed Neymar for a counter-attacking third in the 94th minute, and Barca went on to beat Juventus in the final and claim the trophy.

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    Barcelona have been warned against pandering to their players' apparent desire to see Neymar return to the club, with former Spain and Real Madrid boss Vicente del Bosque adamant he does not set a "good example".

    Neymar spent four years at Camp Nou until 2017, when he left for Paris Saint-Germain as the most expensive player of all time in a €222million move.

    While the Brazilian has undoubtedly caught the eye in Paris, scoring 47 goals and setting up another 26 in just 52 Ligue 1 matches, rarely has he appeared happy.

    A return to Spain with Barca or Real Madrid has often been mooted, though reports linking him with his former club have been significantly more prominent in the past year.

    Del Bosque, a Madrid icon and World Cup-winning coach with Spain, thinks he is a problem and cautioned the Barca hierarchy against caving into the supposed demands of players who reportedly want Neymar back in Catalonia.

    "It is the clubs that must decide who to sign and who not to sign," Del Bosque told Mundo Deportivo.

    "You should not pay attention to what the players say, for that there are sports directors and technical secretaries. It is very difficult for a footballer to speak ill of another footballer who has been his team-mate. I don't remember almost anyone who has.

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    "If you ask me to tell you the top five in the world, he is safely on my list, but on the pitch he tries to cheat, he simulates a lot. And also, how did he leave Barcelona?"

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