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Barcelona president: Messi’s comments are not about me

Josep Maria Bartomeu says he isn’t sure who they’re directed towards

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-BARTOMEU Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

FC Barcelona’s club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has said he did not interpret comments of frustration from Lionel Messi and other players to be against him, the board, or club executives.

“You’ll have to ask [the players who they’re referring to.] There are many people at the club,” the president stated.

In a statement posted yesterday, Messi announced the squad had agreed to a 70% pay cut, while also displaying annoyance at reports in the media that players were unwilling to go through with a pay cut. The captain said the team was simply debating the right “formula” to get the most benefit out of the wage reduction. A report today explained several players’ lawyers disagreed about the technical details.

Bartomeu also confirmed Messi was always pushing for the players to reduce their salary to help the club during the coronavirus crisis.

Messi said the players were always willing to go through with it, something Bartomeu has confirmed, at least as far as the captain himself is concerned.

“From the first minute, he said we have to do this,” Bartomeu said.

In addition, the players agreed to give a little bit more so club employees could be retained at 100% wages.

“The agreement with the club employees comes from the captains. The club will complement part of the stoppage, and they are giving the rest,” Bartomeu continued.

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