Coronavirus: Messi never opposed Barca pay cuts – Bartomeu

By Sports Desk March 30, 2020

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said Lionel Messi agreed with pay cuts at the LaLiga champions, after the captain criticised senior club figures behind the scenes.

Barca confirmed a massive wage cut to help the club during the coronavirus pandemic, with players agreeing to reduce their salaries by 70 per cent and making further financial contributions to ensure all employees are able to take home the full value of their wages.

The news came following reports of a disagreement between senior Barca players and club directors over the degree of wage reduction, with Messi denying the squad turned down the team's proposal to reduce salaries.

Bartomeu said Messi never opposed Barca's decision to carry out salary cuts, telling SPORT: "Messi told me from day one that this reduction had to be made.

"This proposal came from the captains. It is a gesture that demonstrates their commitment to the club."

Messi issued a statement on behalf of the players on Monday, which was soon shared by other members of the first-team squad, in which he insisted they had always been happy to reduce their pay in order to help the club and its staff during the nationwide lockdown, with LaLiga under indefinite suspension while Spain attempts to arrest the spread of COVID-19.

The message accused those in charge of Barca of placing the players under unfair levels of scrutiny while negotiations over wage cuts continued.

Bartomeu added: "Perhaps [the players] have been frustrated by things said by people inside and outside the club, who do not have all the information.

"But the negotiations were carried out only by Oscar Grau and me and we have not said anything."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Depay key to Man Utd's Sancho pursuit, Allegri or Pochettino could replace Conte Rumour Has It: Depay key to Man Utd's Sancho pursuit, Allegri or Pochettino could replace Conte

    Memphis Depay has links to Manchester United and he might be able to help out his former club.

    Depay spent two years at United but struggled before leaving for Ligue 1 outfit Lyon in 2017.

    The Netherlands international has since flourished in France, and he could now play a role in United bringing Jadon Sancho to Manchester.

     

    TOP STORY – DORTMUND WANT DEPAY AS SANCHO REPLACEMENT

    Manchester United's bid to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho could hinge on Lyon captain Memphis Depay, according to The Sun.

    Sancho has been tipped to leave Bundesliga side Dortmund for Premier League giants United in a blockbuster transfer this off-season.

    Former United forward Depay has emerged as a possible replacement for Sancho at Dortmund and is reportedly the key to the Red Devils prising the England international to Old Trafford.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Could Antonio Conte leave Inter after just one season? The Inter head coach took aim at the club after their final game of the Serie A season – a 2-0 win over Atalanta on Saturday to secure second spot behind Juventus. Conte claimed neither he nor his players were protected by the club amid criticism. Now, Sky Sport Italia, SportMediaset, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport claim the damage is irreparable. With Conte facing an uncertain future, former Juve head coach Massimiliano Allegri and ex-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino have emerged as possible replacements.

    - Le10Sport reports Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wants Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele to join the Gunners. Dembele has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants, who are reportedly trying to raise transfer funds through sales. Aubameyang himself has been linked to Barca, as well as Paris Saint-Germain and United previously.

    Milan are ready to sell Lucas Paqueta, claims Calciomercato. Linked to PSG previously, Serie A rivals Fiorentina are interested in the Brazilian attacker and an exchange involving Viola star defender Nikola Milenkovic could take place.

    - According to the Telegraph, Sevilla defender Diego Carlos is at the top of Arsenal's transfer wish list. Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have also been credited with interest.

    - AS Diario says Real Madrid have a clear plan of when they want to pursue their transfer targets amid the coronavirus pandemic. Reluctant to spend after winning LaLiga and in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Madrid are focusing on 2021 – PSG's Kylian Mbappe at the top of the list. Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga is also wanted next year, while Dortmund forward Erling Haaland is a 2022 target.

  • Fiorentina prepared to sell Chiesa for right price, says club president Fiorentina prepared to sell Chiesa for right price, says club president

    Fiorentina are willing to sell Federico Chiesa for the right price, club president Rocco Commisso said. 

    Chiesa, 22, has been linked with a move to Serie A giants Juventus, Inter and Milan. 

    After a 3-1 win over SPAL on the final day of the 2019-20 season on Sunday, Commisso once again reiterated Fiorentina are open to selling the star forward but are in no rush to see him leave. 

    "Chiesa still at Fiorentina? We hope so," he told Sky Sport. 

    "He can do whatever he wants. The main thing is that if he goes, he will get to the cash desk as much as we ask." 

    Commisso added: "I hope he will stay, but if he wants to leave they must pay him what we value him, on our terms." 

    Chiesa scored 11 goals and provided six assists in 37 games this season for a Fiorentina side that finished the league in 10th place.

  • Lecce go straight back down as Genoa stay in Serie A Lecce go straight back down as Genoa stay in Serie A

    Lecce were relegated from Serie A following a 4-3 final-day defeat at home to Parma as Genoa retained their top-flight status.

    Fabio Liverani guided Lecce to promotion last season, but they will make an immediate return to the second tier.

    A Fabio Lucioni own goal and Gianluca Caprari's strike gave Parma a two-goal lead, but Antonin Barak and Biagio Meccariello ensured Lecce were back on level terms at the break.

    They went down fighting, but Andreas Cornelius and Roberto Inglese put Parma in command again before Gianluca Lapadula pulled one back in a thriller.

    Lecce would have suffered the drop with SPAL and Brescia in any case, as Genoa cruised to a 3-0 victory over Verona to finish four points above the drop zone, Antonio Sanabria helping himself to a double.

    Cristian Romer added a third goal before half-time and was later sent off, while Genoa also had Francesco Cassata dismissed late on along with Verona's Sofyan Amrabat.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.