Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has revealed that the players were so determined to get Neymar back that they agreed to adjust their personal salary payment to meet UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations for the Paris St Germain player.
“We told (club president Josep Maria) Bartomeu that if it was necessary to delay payments in our contracts to meet Financial Fair Play regulations and sign Neymar we would do it,” Pique was quoted as saying to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser by Reuters.
“We were ready to adjust our contracts. We weren’t going to contribute money, but we were going to make things easier by allowing some payments to be made in the second or third year instead of the first,” the Spanish international added.
However, the Catalan club failed to rope in the service of the Brazilian superstar despite spending most of the last transfer window in trying to set a deal with the Paris-based club and were also restricted by the FFP FFP regulations.
Barcelona had already signed French forward Antoine Griezmann for 120 million euros and Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong for 75 million and got restricted in their pursuit for Neymar who had left the club for PSG for a record transfer fee of 222 million euros in 2016.
The regulations have been designed to control the sport’s richest owners from spending their fortunes to crush their not-so-rich rivals. They also bring the clubs under obligation to be transparent about revenues and broadly balance them with expenditure.
The 27-year-old Brazilian has had a rough time in the ongoing season at the Parc des Princes. He has been severely criticised by the PSG fans after he openly expressed his desire to return to Barcelona.
He was also kept in the bench in the opening matches of the season but made a comprehensive return to the team in September. He netted four goals in five Ligue 1 appearances before getting sidelined again with a groin injury.