Things are falling apart at Barcelona and something needs to be done.
May 18, 2020, 4 a.m.
Throughout the season, there have been numeral public spats between the players and the Board at FC Barcelona. The most recent discourse was on the issue of pay cuts to cover the financial loss and providing financial help to the club’s non-playing staff. Lionel Messi, six-time Ballon d'Or winner, had announced that Barca's players had agreed on a 70% pay cut. Moreover, the players had also proposed to make contributions to ensure the well being of the club's non-playing staff during the state emergency in Spain caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Messi, who is often regarded as a man of few words, targetted the Barcelona Board and accused them of undermining the players during the negotiations. What is even more surprising is that Luis Suarez criticized the board as well. Bartomeu said that the cuts were not as severe as they looked on paper. “From the word go, we wanted an agreement, not something that was imposed. We came to a flexible agreement conditioned to the number of days the crisis lasts.” “In total, the wage cuts will make 16 million euros savings per month. If the lockdown lasts one month, it will be a reduction of 5.75 percent of the annual salary bill. If it lasts 45 days, it will be 8.6 percent and if it lasts two months, which we believe not, 11.5 percent. Because we are a huge earner we look like we have been hit harder, but once this is over we will be up and running faster too,” Bartomeu says. Now, we all thought that the departure of Ernesto Valverde would lead to higher morale in the dressing room. However, it seems like Ernesto Valverde wasn’t the biggest problem. At the moment, Barcelona has a wide range of problems including the Locker Room and the Board. This was quite evident in the recent spat between Abidal (Sporting Director at FCB) and Lionel Messi. In an interview, Abidal said that players “were not satisfied and didn’t work hard” under Ernesto Valverde and that he felt that the relationship between the Coach and the players wasn’t a healthy one. Now, within hours, Lionel Messi took to Instagram to raise his voice. He challenged Abidal to take names and said that the management has to take responsibility for its decisions. Soon, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu intervened and eased the situation. The most irritating fact is that the management wants the fans to believe that the situation is under control. However, it is clear that Barcelona is struggling with a variety of problems. It is sad that Abidal and Messi are not seeing eye-to-eye and as a fan, one can only wish for better things to come.