Just a few days after the club’s dire financial situation was laid bare, fresh details of Lionel Messi’s Barcelona contract have been revealed by newspaper El Mundo.
According to the outlet, Messi’s Barcelona contract is worth more than half a billion pounds to the Argentine, stretched out over four years, and will “ruin” the club. It is also thought to be the most expensive deal ever paid to an athlete.
Lionel Messi’s Barcelona Contract Details Revealed
The deal, which is set to expire at the end of the current season, is worth up to €555 million over the four years since it was signed, made up of a €138 million per season fixed amount, a €115 million renewal fee simply for accepting the contract and an eye-watering €78 million loyalty bonus.
The report adds that €510 million has already been paid out to their star player, who has spent his entire professional career with the Catalan giants. The numbers involved in Messi’s Barcelona contract are a shocking revelation considering the deep financial issues the club is facing.
Barcelona’s Bankruptcy Fears
Recently released accounts show that Barcelona is more than €1.1 billion in debt – €236 million of which must reportedly be paid back to creditors before the end of June, otherwise the La Liga side faces bankruptcy.
The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic has, of course, affected the club – the same is true for every club across Europe and beyond – but Barcelona’s problems are particularly amplified because of rampant overspending in previous years, to a point where it has become unsustainable.
While some of their expensive buys have helped the club to continue its tradition of success, such as Luis Suárez, there have been far more examples of players who have been brought in for a hefty fee but have failed to live up to the price tag.
In their desperation to find a long-term replacement for the soon-to-depart Messi, hundreds of millions have been spent on deals for the likes of Ousmane Dembélé, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho. While they’ve had their individual moments, none of them have produced the results expected from players who cost so much.
Messi’s Barcelona Contract Details are Latest Nail in Coffin
No one can reasonably argue that Messi has failed Barcelona on the pitch – in recent years especially, the Argentine has been key to everything the team has achieved. But it’s clear to see that this amount of money being spent just on keeping one player around isn’t financially smart, nor sustainable.
This is no reflection at all on Messi – it was the club’s hierarchy which agreed to these numbers, placing further strain on the club’s finances. As Barcelona looks to cut costs this summer to reduce debt, even if the player did decide that he wants to stay at Camp Nou, it seems unlikely that the club would be able to afford his wages.
And it’s just one more stick for outgoing president Josep Bartomeu to be beaten with before he is replaced at the helm of one of European football’s true giants.
After being delayed due to the pandemic, the club’s presidential election will be held in March with Victor Font and Toni Freixa facing off with previous incumbent Joan Laporta for the role.
Whoever wins has the enormous task of steering the ship away from some deadly-looking cliffs, as Barcelona fight to get back onto stable financial footing once again.