Barça's senior players are not setting a good example

OPINION

@LluisMascaro

Negotiations between FC Barcelona and its senior players who graduated from La Masia are not going according to plan. In fact, they're going terribly. Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto (or rather, their representatives) have not accepted the club's request to agree to a wage cut. They are being totally inflexible: they are not willing to agree to a wage cut, and neither are they willing to extend their contracts in order to spread the value of their deals over a greater period of time. The stubbornness shown by these senior dressing room figures is putting the club in a very uncomfortable position. It is desperate to reduce its wage bill. If no agreement is reached the club will need to take drastic measures, and president Laporta is willing to do whatever is necessary. It is the only option he has to save his project. If necessary, he will go to war with these players to make them see reason. These three senior dressing room figures, three of whom are club 'captains', are not acting as the president had hoped. In the first informal discussions, it seemed that there was a willingness to make things work from all parties. However, when it comes to negotiating, none of these players seem willing to make a personal sacrifice. Their stance remains the same despite the magnificent example set by Leo Messi, who has agreed to sign a new contract for almost half his previous salary.

Joan Laporta is very concerned. This new Barça, which is being put together by Ronald Koeman, needs to have everyone on side: both on the pitch and by doing what's right for the club. Barça's financial situation is serious. Very serious. Much worse than anyone could have imagined. Bartomeu left the club in an awful state, and the club's players now need to do their part to rectify the situation. They have all earned enormous salaries over the last few years, and they are all multi-millionaires. Now they are being asked to remain multi-millionaires, but with a slightly reduced salary. This is a small sacrifice that they should all be willing to take. But, for the time being at least, they are refusing to do it.

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