The reports of the past few weeks were startled and sometimes astonished in disbelief.
FC Barcelona, the football club with the highest sales in the world, is threatened with bankruptcy.
Last Monday, the Catalan club, which has moved the imagination of fans around the world for decades, published a financial report with dramatic figures.
On the balance sheet, Barça has a debt level of 1.1 billion euros, of which 730 million are due in the short term and a further 266 million that must be paid by June 30th.
These horror figures leave little room for interpretation: if a comprehensive rescheduling does not succeed, wrote the serious Spanish daily “El Mundo”, there is a risk of bankruptcy.
Barcelona are now at risk of falling victim to a wage level that has reached dizzying heights in recent years.
74 percent of the club’s expenses are player salaries.
It has always been an open secret that the donations to superstar Lionel Messi are by far the largest item – but no one has known exactly how big.
On the verge of ruin – Messi’s salary adds to that
Now, “El Mundo”, referring to the contract between the Argentine and Barça, has given numbers that will leave even the biggest Messi fans speechless.
The items are neatly listed on the sheet: year after year, premium for premium, documented down to the last euro.
The six-time world footballer has cost the club around 555 million euros since 2017, the time of his last contract extension – in exact figures: 555,237,619 euros.
The sum consists of the basic salary, allowances from the image rights, bonuses, allowances and bonuses.
After deducting taxes, Messi should have remained 297 million euros.
That would result in a net daily wage of 210,297 euros.
“The Pharaoh contract of Messi ruining Barça,” the paper headlined the publication, which also includes the employment contract and the contract on the assignment of image rights.
The contracts are signed by Messi and then President Josep Maria Bartomeu and two other club officials.
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Due to the tight financial situation of the club and the fact that Messi’s contract expires at the end of the season, the departure of the star at the end of the season seems inevitable – even if Joan Laporta, the ex-president and most promising candidate for a new appointment, opposes it.
Laporta was now angry with the French sports newspaper “L’Equipe” about the behavior of the club management of FC Paris St.-Germain.
The Parisians had recently indicated that they were interested in a commitment from Messi.
“With all due respect, I have to say that I didn’t like the behavior of PSG at all.
They don’t respect Barça, “said Laporta, responding to PSG sporting director Leonardo, who said the Parisians would also be” at the table of those who are closely following the Messi case. “
The fact that the Messi contract “El Mundo” has apparently been leaked is justified in Barcelona with the increasingly dirty presidential election campaign.
The election, in which in addition to Laporta with Víctor Font and Toni Freixa, two other candidates are in the running, was originally supposed to take place on January 24th.
Due to Corona, however, the date was postponed indefinitely.
On Sunday, FC Barcelona announced legal action against the newspaper for the publication of financial details of the contract.
The club regrets the publication, it said in the club’s statement.
It is a private document with the principle of confidentiality between the parties.
The club “categorically rejects any responsibility” and promised Lionel Messi “absolute support”.
Especially in view of any attempts to discredit its reputation.