Barcelona: Spanish superclub Barcelona's colossal cash turnover is under the spotlight after the soccer lockdown slashed the earnings that enabled them pay over 600 million euros ($647M) per year to staff.
Barcelona's motto is 'More than a club', and fans around the globe who tune in to thrill at the hugely succesful side spearheaded by Argentine genius Lionel Messi.
But as broadcasting rights for the lucrative Spanish domestic La Liga and the European Champions League have become compromised, the club has had some delicate economic manoeuvering.
Not least of these was persuading sensitive star players on huge contracts to take voluntary wage cuts.
European football administrators do not allow for wages above 70 per cent of a club's earnings, with the Catalan outfit sitting was officially around 68 percent.
The wage budget for the current season was 642 million euros with expected earnings estimated at just over 1 billion euros in the pre-season budget presented by the club last July.
"We clearly won't manage to earn what we had been expecting to," Barcelona president Josep María Bartomeu admitted this week.
The club are not ony deprived of match-day revenue from 11 domestic games, but all the merchandising that goes with it.
The Spanish sports press this week reported Barcelona coud lose 48 million euros in gate receipts and a further 84 million in television rights.
"There has been a huge drop in income and we are trying to compensate this with the reduction of player salaries and all other employees including all our executives," Bartomeu told Catalan sports daily El Mundo Deportivo.
A project to refurbish the club's spectacular Nou Camp home has also been put on ice.
"In total the wage cuts will make 16 million euros savings per month. If the lockdown lasts one month, it will be a reduction of 5.75 per cent of the annual salary bill. If it lasts 45 days, it will be 8.6 per cent and if it lasts two months, which we believe not, 11.5 per cent."
The rest of Barcelona's staff have been put on partial unemployment.
"Because we are a huge earner we look like we have been hit harder, but once this is over we will be up and running faster too," Bartomeu says....