Barcelona's players won't be represented at the Negotiation Table this Wednesday that should include spokesmen from the club, the Workers' Committee and the first team. The club want to touch base on the salary reductions across the board due to the income deficit expected in the 2020-21 season of around 170 million euros.
SPORT have learned the reasons why the players won't be represented. The first is for the way the club have acted with them. They no longer recognise president Josep Maria Bartomeu nor CEO Oscar Grau as club representatives. "A meeting with Bartomeu and the captains to explain the club's economic situation would have been enough, because they're the first to understand how delicate the situation is," a source close to the dressing room said.
However, the players are annoyed because they believe the letter they received was "a unilateral and non-consensual imposition." The club's HR director, Gemma Biosca, has responded to the burofax sent by the players on Friday and also to other club employees. Among the advisors to both groups of employees, there's surprise that the club's reply is nor based on legal arguments but on mere opinions.
35 million euros
What club employees and players are in agreement with is that the former are not the problem nor the solution. For that reason, they feel the club should negotiate a wage reduction (even if that means making payments at a later date) with the players. The wage bill for club employees outside the first team (540 in total) is three percent of the club's budget. That's 35 million, less than players like Messi and Griezmann earn in a year.
Barça will go to the Negotiation Table on Wednesday with two employment lawyers. The Workers' Committee will also have a decent representation. According to the letter sent to players and other staff, the club have given until November 5/6 to reach an agreement. If that's not possible, they will apply measures unilaterally.
That's where there could be a big problem. If Barça make cuts unilaterally, the players could appeal to the Workers' Statute and rescind their contracts unilaterally. They would be in their right to do so if the club modify their working conditions or salary agreements. Could you imagine, in the worst-case scenario, Messi, Griezmann, Pique etc leaving in November?
Not involved in the negotiations this week are employees from the club's Foundation nor the other professional sports teams at the club. They reached an agreement with the director Albert Soler previously.