The coronavirus is really beginning to hit football clubs where it hurts… in the pocket.
With a total football shutdown across Spain and elsewhere, the economic impact can’t be overstated, and Barcelona’s directors may have to impose a drastic measure in order to help the club through the crisis.
At present, Barcelona’s ground, museum and stores are all closed, meaning that they’re unable to get any revenue via those means.
ESPN cite sources who have told them that the club are considering whether to reduce the salaries of the first-team players as a temporary measure, but it’s a decision which would also have to be agreed by the players themselves.
A Global Sports Salary Survey, noted by ESPN, indicates that Barca are the first team ever to pay more than €11m per year on average individual salaries. Such an outlay is bound to be problematic should the pandemic continue indefinitely.
Even if LaLiga get the matches played, they’ll have to be behind closed doors if they’re taking place in the next couple of months, and that will ensure there’s no gate revenue to be had.
With many supporters also having to self isolate, it’s debatable that any of the shops will be back open anytime soon either.
ESPN note that club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, in a conference call with his board last Friday, explained that the economic situation was “complicated” but still “reversible.”
That all depends on just how willing the players such as Lionel Messi are to accede to his wishes.