Barcelona need €200m cuts to cope with coronavirus - sources

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Barcelona may have to ask players to take further wage cuts with the club forced to knock €200 million off their budget for next season due to the coronavirus pandemic, sources have told ESPN.

The players have already agreed to take a 70% reduction to their monthly salaries for as long as the state of alarm, which started on March 14 and is set to end on May 10, remains in place in Spain.

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However, former vice president Emili Rousaud, who was a member of the board of directors until last week, told ESPN "the club's proposal lacked ambition given the economic problems they will have to face."

"I have zero criticism towards the players," he said. "They did what was asked of them and more, with the additional contribution to make up the salaries of the rest of the club's employees.

"But was asked of them, from my point of view, is insufficient to cover the deficit in revenue that we're going to have."

Rousaud added that it was "lamentable" to see other clubs, such as Real Madrid, obtain bigger wage cuts from their players.

Madrid's squad will take a hit of between 10% and 20% to their annual salaries, depending on how hard the club's finances are hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Barcelona player's wage reduction of 70% -- they also receive three much larger payments each year known as the "ficha" and are not included in the reduction -- will equate to around 10% if the state of alarm is not extended.

"In round figures, [the savings] are about €14m a month of the net salary of the first team players and €2m from the club's other teams," he explained in a recent interview.

"If the state of alarm lasts two months it will be 11.5%. It is a flexible agreement conditioned on the number of days."

Sources at Barcelona have now subsequently revealed to ESPN, though, that longer-term wage cuts may have to be applied, possibly even extending into next season.

The Spanish champions have seen a huge reduction in revenue streams since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Europe. As well as the loss of matchday revenue, they have also been forced to close the club's museum and club shops, which bring in millions of euros a year.

A source estimates the club's budget for next season will be down around €200m on this season's approved budget of €1 billion due to a failure to reach €1bn in projected revenue for the 2019-20 season. That is based on the season being completed behind closed doors, too, and the club receiving all television money owing for the season.

However, while the club scramble to take measures to combat the financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, they continue to plan for the future on the pitch.

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar remain targets, despite cutbacks elsewhere. There's acknowledgment, though, that they will have to sell to buy, while they're also open to player exchange deals.

Sources explained to ESPN last week that only Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong's names are off the table when it comes to possible makeweights to bring prices down in the transfer market when it opens.