Anyone who thought that after the summer soap opera about the possible farewell to Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona had already put the biggest crisis behind them this year, has now been taught better.
In a first wave of extensions, Marc-André ter Stegen, Gerard Piqué, Frenkie de Jong and Clément Lenglet were given new, long-term contracts on Wednesday night in order to spread the running costs over the coming years. A plan that not everyone in the Blaugrana likes.
Destroyed letter to Bartomeu
As the ‘El Mundo’ revealed on Thursday, the team council, consisting of Lionel Messi, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Piqué, wrote an internal letter directly to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The letter says: “We will not tolerate Barça violating our rights in the face of the arguments put forward in the comfort letter, which believes that its goal can only be achieved through joint action by all collectives and departments of the club, if at the same time it is recognized in total contradiction, that some sectors have already achieved the desired savings. “
“We are uncomfortable and disappointed that these illegal maneuvers by the club are causing concern in our group, as they want to force decisions on us unilaterally while ignoring any dissenting opinions on the matter.”, the group criticizes the tenor of the negotiations, “It seems shameful to us that the club has only one representative for us at the negotiating table, which will be seated with 13 members, so that our deterrent capacity is in fact zero.”
Messi and the rest of the team make it clear that the team is united in the cause: “The team agrees and is aware of the situation caused by the pandemic. We have already made efforts to help, but we will not tolerate this being used as an excuse to abuse our rights. “
Are there any legal consequences?
The team council’s criticism that Barcelona’s measures are not compliant with the law has received great support. On Wednesday yesterday, Diego Rivas, General Secretary of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) made it clear to the Spanish radio station ‘RAC1’ that the club’s approach is legally shaky.
“We understand that things did not happen in accordance with the law and we brought it to the attention of FC Barcelona”, so Rivas, “If this continues, the players can challenge the agreements and be sacked with compensation depending on the years of work for the club.”
It is not yet possible to predict the consequences of Barça. It is clear, however, that the relationship between the club management around Bartomeu and the team has suffered lasting damage.