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cost cutting Revealed: Barcelona's brutal transfer window ends with huge wage bill reduction

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An emotional Lionel Messi departed Barcelona in tears.

An emotional Lionel Messi departed Barcelona in tears.

An emotional Lionel Messi departed Barcelona in tears.

It was a chastening transfer window for Barcelona that saw them end their enduring love story with Lionel Messi and lose their place among European football's big hitters, with the end result of their cost cutting now revealed.

Barcelona's post-pandemic cash crisis forced President Joan Laporta to make the decision to withdraw the contract that had been agreed with Messi to extend his stay at the club, allowing him to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca also saw striker Antoine Griezmann move back to his former club Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day on Tuesday, with Emerson Royal and Junior Firpo also leaving the club.

Removing the massive wages of Messi has had a stunning impact on Barcelona's annual salary package, with Marca reporting the wage bill at the Catalan giants has been sliced to around €420million from last season's total of €565million.

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Lionel Messi poses with his jersey next to club president Nasser Al Khelaifi and Leonardo after a Paris Saint-Germain press conference at Parc des Princes. Photo: Sebastien Muylaert/Getty Images

Lionel Messi poses with his jersey next to club president Nasser Al Khelaifi and Leonardo after a Paris Saint-Germain press conference at Parc des Princes. Photo: Sebastien Muylaert/Getty Images

Lionel Messi poses with his jersey next to club president Nasser Al Khelaifi and Leonardo after a Paris Saint-Germain press conference at Parc des Princes. Photo: Sebastien Muylaert/Getty Images

That total was the highest of any club in European football, fuelled primarily by Messi's extraordinary wage package that included huge annual bonuses as well as a lavish weekly salary.

The Argentine maestro has agreed to take a 50 per-cent cut in his salary to stay at Barcelona, but such is the depth of the financial crisis at the club that Laporta had to make the decision to allow the club's greatest player of all-time to walk away.

There could be a further departure at the club as Miralem Pjanic could also be leaving the club to sign a loan deal with Besiktas, with the Turkish transfer window still open.

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