Ter Stegen, Lenglet and De Jong do not want to give up the multimillion-dollar contract signed by Bartomeu when he was president of Barça

BarcelonaBarça’s top management met with Frenkie de Jong in the United States, during the tour, to try to convince him to lower his salary. The Dutchman, whom the club considered selling this summer, was one of the footballers who agreed on the renewal on October 20, 2020 with Josep Maria Bartomeu, then president of the club. A renewal that involved getting paid a little less that year but extending his association with Barça for a few more years in exchange for multiplying his salary by almost two. The current board, chaired by Joan Laporta, tried to make the footballer see that those conditions agreed in 2020 are unacceptable in 2022. But De Jong, as if that did not go with him, dusted off the fleas and said that, if there was a problem, talk to your agent.

Frenkie de Jong’s reaction is the same as that of Marc-André ter Stegen and Clément Lenglet. The club has tried, without success, to have them review their contract to return to the conditions they had agreed upon in 2020. The footballers have replied that these issues of numbers must be discussed with the representatives. And the agents, when they met with Barça, did not want to know anything about salary reductions.

Your version matches. The footballers explain that in October 2020 Bartomeu asked them for a financial effort because, following the pandemic, the club had no money to pay what they were charging. In fact, a few months earlier, the entire team as a whole had agreed not to collect their emoluments while football was stopped by the coronavirus. The footballers did not want to give up more money and the president convinced them with a very beneficial formula for them, since they would have more years of contract and, in the future, they would be paid much more.

Does Barça’s claim against Bartomeu have legal recourse?

Barça, now in the hands of Joan Laporta, doubts the legality of the contracts. They believe that they could not be signed promptly, just the day before a negotiation table began with players and employees of the club – to agree, precisely, on a generalized salary reduction. And they also remember that, only a week after signing those renewals, Bartomeu and his board resigned en masse. In addition, the current managers assure that they have contacted two law firms external to the entity and that, in both cases, they see signs of criminality due to disloyal administration, since with that renewal the club committed to pay an additional 311 million in wages to these players.

The club has spoken to the footballers, explained the situation and warned them that if they did not agree to voluntarily reduce their salary – returning to the conditions of 2020 – criminal proceedings would be initiated. Therefore, it would be a judge who would rule whether the contracts are valid or, on the contrary, can be annulled. In this case, the footballers would return to the old conditions, they would have to return money to the club if they have been overpaid and they would also end their association with Barça earlier. The situation also affects Lenglet, a player who has gone on loan to Tottenham but who still has a contract with the Blaugrana team.

The players’ agents, however, are standing firm. They say that what is signed, is signed. And Bartomeu, clearly pointed out by the current Barça managers, also gets rid of the dead. His version is that the contracts were validated by the club’s lawyers, by the auditor and by the League. Therefore, one can argue about the price but never about the legality of the agreements.

Gerard Piqué, the only player to take a pay cut

In this mess, only Gerard Piqué has come to an agreement. Piqué, captain and footballer trained at La Masia, was the fourth player to agree to a salary renewal. However, unlike the other three players, Piqué only extended the years of his contract. His salary remained stable under the same conditions that he had previously signed.

Piqué, who behaves like a club man – and who does not rule out one day presenting himself as Barça president – has agreed to a renewal. The player will keep the two years of the contract, until 2024, but will give up a very juicy part of his salary. A gesture that, added to the activation of the fourth lever – the club has sold another 25% of Barça Studios in exchange for 100 million euros -, should serve for Barça to gain a salary margin and be able to register new signings .


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