Global football icon Lionel Messi has said that FC Barcelona players have agreed to take a 70 per cent pay cut in their salaries to help the club ride the financial storm triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. In a lengthy post on his Instagram account in Spanish, Messi added that apart from the pay cut, the players will also contribute to help the club pay salaries to their non-playing employees. Also Read - How People Above 18 Should Register For Vaccine. Step-by-Step Guide

“Much has been written and said about the Barcelona team in regards to the salaries of the players during this state of emergency,” Messi was quoted as saying by “We want to clarify that our will has always been to take a cut in the salary we receive, because we fully understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are always the first ones to help the club when asked.” Also Read - After Ashutosh Rana, His Wife Renuka Shahane, Their Sons Test COVID-19 Positive, Family Under Isolation

The message was later shared by other Barcelona players including Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann among others. Also Read - Swara Bhaskar's Mother And Cook Test COVID-19 Positive, Actor Under Quarantine at Delhi Home

He also took a shot at unnamed officials ‘within the club’ who tried putting players under pressure into agreeing to pay-cut. “Therefore, it does not surprise us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under pressure to do something we always knew we would do. The agreement has been delayed for a few days because we were looking for a formula to help the club and its workers during these difficult times,” Messi claimed.

“Apart from the reduction of 70 per cent from our salary, we will also make contributions so that club employees can collect 100 per cent of their salary while this situation lasts,” he added.

Barca president Josep Bartomeu later said the players knew and had already agreed to take the pay-cut.

“From the first moment I wanted it be something agreed and not imposed even if I could do it by law, but we wanted to reach an agreement because it’s best for Barca and shows their commitment,” Bartomeu told Catalan sports daily Mundo Deportivo.

Football season in Europe has been suspended in wake of the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has left more than 37,000 dead so far.