Lionel Messi and Teammates Take 70 Percent Pay Cut a Year After Barcelona Made Nearly a Billion Dollars

Stephen Douglas
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Lionel Messi and his F.C. Barcelona teammates are prepared to take a 70 percent pay cut so that non-sporting staff don't face reduced salaries during Spain's state of emergency. For Messi alone, that's nearly a $20 million pay cut. It is an incredible sacrifice and very inspiring to see athletes step up like this to help people with an uncertain future. BUT...

F.C. Barcelona is the most profitable soccer club in the world. During the 2018-2019 season, Barcelona became the first club to ever break the £800,000,000 revenue barrier, according to Deloitte. That's more than $959 million. Almost a billion dollars profit. In a single year. The club was presumably printing money when their season was suspended and they will go back to printing money when the season resumes or the next season begins.

This isn't the local independent sandwich shop that has to make some hard choices in a tough economy. This is a money-making machine that just has to shut down for a few months. Absolutely no one should have to take a paycut. Not Messi, who is the main reason the club makes so much damn money. Not the guy selling vuvuzelas on the concourse.

It is just insane to me that the most secure businesses in the world look at a massive global crisis like this and think the employees are the ones who need to sacrifice. And it's so normal that the millionaire athletes who make the entire thing work in the first place just accept that they are the ones who have to do it instead. It is a great gesture by the players, but they shouldn't be the ones who have to step up.