June 19, 2021

Barcelona players backed by Spanish Footballers’ Association in pay cut showdown

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According to the union, the Camp Nou club could see themselves wrapped up in legal battles if they attempt to push through their current plans

The Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) has thrown its support behind Barcelona‘s playing staff, who were not present on Wednesday as club officials held a meeting to discuss a blanket wage reduction for all staff members.

It is reported that those in charge of the Catalan side are looking to reduce all salaries, club-wide, by around 30 per cent, but players have made it known via burofax that they will reject any proposal made by the club as they have not been given the chance to sit in on discussions.

The players want to be involved in the talks – which are set to culminate within 15 days – before any action is taken and will more than likely resort to legal recourse if their demands are not met.

Playing staff are of the opinion that their contracts should be treated separately to the board of directors and all other non-playing staff, a stance that has since been backed by the AFE.

A statement from the association reads: “This procedure, in our opinion, suffers from serious formal defects. A negotiating table has been set up to discuss the measures to be adopted and the players are not represented as they have not been eligible in the elections of the committee.

“It is our duty to request that the club reverse this process and initiate, if it is deemed necessary, a dialogue with the professional footballers through the established legal channels.

“Beyond the serious defects regarding the composition of the negotiating table, we ask that the club opt to negotiate these measures in two differentiated processes: One for workers with an ordinary employment contract and another for professional athletes subject to a special employment relationship.

“Only from the individualised analysis of a group such as professional footballers can an agreed solution emerge within the framework of this process.

“Finally, the club cannot fail to be aware that this process, if carried out with the terms set forth, will incur serious challenges, with a high risk of nullity, and the automatic right to the termination of employment contracts of the affected workers.

“We believe that the club must be frank with its members and assume that their current measures will lead to a very significant loss of FC Barcelona’s assets.”