Barcelona's players are now willing to sit down at the negotiating table with the club's board to discuss a collective salary reduction, in response to the loss of income from the coronavirus crisis. The board has now decided that the squad can take decisions that won't affect the rest of the workers on other types of contracts, and vice-versa, so the players will enter talks.
The board's about-turn complies with the requests of AFE, the main Spanish players' union, and the club's works council. The former had criticized the way the process had been rolled out, while the latter said they didn't feel capable of negotiating on behalf of the players.
Minutes from a meeting of the club's involved parties revealed the new conditions that will result in the players coming to the negotiating table.
"Barcelona's board is willing to sit down with the club's players and accept that they can take decisions autonomously," it read. "Consequently, the decisions they take in this period of consultation - and only during these negotiations - will not impact on other departments of the club, nor will the decisions of other departments impact on them."
The statement also carried a reference to the works council. "The commission responsible for the club's workers believes that the works council is not able to negotiate on behalf of staff that has been deemed to have special contracts. That is to say, the players of the club's first team and those of Barca B [the club's reserve side]."
The players' latest decision follows the news on Tuesday night - that came out within an hour of their Champions League win over Ferencvaros - that four of the club's first-team squad members had signed new deals separate from the process. Those players were Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong, and Clement Lenglet.