FC Barcelona apparently owes Gerard Piqué a gigantic sum. This is partly responsible for the fact that the club cannot yet register Robert Lewandowski and Co. with La Liga.
This emerges from a report in the Catalan daily ARA. According to the report, the Spanish top club owes the considerable sum to its long-time defender because the latter had agreed to salary increases several times in the past.
Background: At the beginning of the Corona crisis, the Barca players around Piqué were asked for temporary reductions in salary payments. The highly indebted Barcelona could no longer easily cover the costs after the loss of important sources of income such as ticket revenues.
However, top earner Piqué apparently also waived additional millions last year to enable his club to register new arrivals such as Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia.Do Piqué’s millions prevent Lewandowski’s registration?
In total, Piqué is said to have waived more than 70 per cent of his salary payments in the meantime, according to the report. But now the addressed 52 million euros should actually flow. Piqué’s contract with Barca still runs until 2024, by which time at the latest there will be no more postponements.
It is not the first time that one hears about high sums that Barcelona’s players are still entitled to, although they should actually have been paid already. For example, midfielder Frenkie die Jong is still entitled to around 20 million euros, various English media have been writing for weeks.
Even when superstar Lionel Messi left the club last year, there was talk of outstanding salaries. In the case of Piqué, Barca bosses are said to have met with his advisor Arturo Canales last week. Probably in the hope of obtaining a further postponement or even a waiver. As Mundo Deportivo reported on Tuesday, Piqué is said to have shown a willingness to talk.
That would be good news for Barca, because the 52 million euros put pressure on salary budgets and thus also stand in the way of registering new signings like Robert Lewandowski with La Liga. The latter are still ineligible to play in Spain’s top league because Barca’s wage bill is not compatible with the prescribed fair play rules. So far, the club has already spent over 150 million euros in the current transfer summer.
Will Barcelona have to sell more shares?
As with Piqué, Barca also wants to proceed with Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Marc-André ter Stegen, the ARA report continues. New concessions from the players’ side are intended to prevent Barca from having to sell further shares. According to the report, Piqué alone could prevent this step.
Club president Joan Laporta announced on Friday that he had collected 868 million euros within two months. But he also said: “If it is necessary to carry out further operations, we will do so.”
This probably refers to the next sale of shares in Barca Studios. 24.5 per cent had already been sold, the “third lever” after the double sale of TV rights, as Spanish media called the financing measures.