Barcelona are reportedly facing bankruptcy if they don’t cut their wage bill by £171m (US$221m) before the end of this week.

According to Catalan radio station, RAC1, the squad must agree to a pay cut of 30 per cent by Thursday to avoid the risk of going bankrupt in January. Negotiations to reduce the wage bill began on Friday with a meeting between lawyers representing the club and the players.

Barca’s finances were affected by the coronavirus pandemic as their official club stores and museums were forced to close. They announced an £88m (US$114m)-loss at the start of October, and this came despite players accepting another pay cut.

Another factor that could further worsen the crisis at Nou Camp is Lionel Messi’s contract situation.

If the Argentine superstar decides against signing an extension, the club will have to pay him a bonus for reaching the end of his contract in June next year.