Lionel Messi won’t be given special treatment as Barcelona try to negotiate salary reductions to help the club through the coronavirus crisis, interim president Carles Tusquets has said.
Tusquets warned that such measures were necessary due to the financial losses the club has suffered during the pandemic.
Barcelona are currently under the stewardship of a temporary board following the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu, and Tusquets is hopeful new elections can be held around the Christmas period.
For the time being, negotiations continue with the club’s players to try and trim what is currently the highest wage bill in Europe.
“I think we can reach an agreement. It seems to me that there is a willingness to do so. We do not want to take money from anyone but to adjust salaries so we can pay them when possible – this is the solution we think is the most viable given the circumstances.
“We cannot make a tailor-made suit just for [Messi]. We can create different structures for similar cases but we cannot tailor-make deals for individuals.
“We intend to solve the issue with the whole staff and all the employees and we will do everything possible to ensure everybody is satisfied.
“Depending on the money available, we know that our income will fall by around €300 million (£270m/$349m) if we cannot open the stadium. Even if we can, it will not be fully open this season.
“I won’t get into specifics about Messi because we have to finish negotiations first. What I can say is that there is a willingness from Messi and his representatives.
“There is no reason to hide the fact that Barcelona's wage bill is the highest in Europe but I like to look to the future and today I was with [Ramon] Planes, [Ronald] Koeman and [Oscar] Grau, and I congratulated them on the courage to bet on young players, not many have that much courage.
“We are top of the rankings in terms of salary expenditure, it is around 70 per cent of the total budget of the club and that is a lot, but we are working on it.”