On November 25, 2017, Lionel Messi sat together with the then president Josep María Bartomeu and formalized the extension of his contract with Barcelona until June 30, 2021. The relationship, at that time, did not present all the thorns that turned that society into a true focus of conflict. Amid the heated political climate of the Blaugrana, the tension of the Argentine with the leadership that left their posts and the serious economic problems of the institution, a newspaper leaked in detail the link to which the captain signed: had the possibility of receiving up to 555,237,619 gross euros for four seasons in case of meeting all the objectives.
The Spanish newspaper The world, based in Madrid, exclusively published the roles that the Argentine footballer and the then president agreed upon in 2017. The front page of the newspaper bears a more than strong title: “Messi’s pharaonic contract that ruins Barça”. The gaze is fixed on the delicate finances as a result of the internal mismanagement that led to two clear situations: the resignation of an entire board of directors and the economic complications that intensified before the outbreak of the pandemic.
From the player’s environment they warned that the figures are not completely real and that the information was leaked just at the time that the club is going through a delicate political moment after the resignation of Bartomeu last October and while there is still no president in office. According to the publication, the contract reaches the aforementioned amount accounting for fixed salary, image rights, a series of “unpublished multi-million dollar premiums”, subsistence allowance Y “A rosary of variables” depending on different objectives met.
In the careful analysis of the “Most expensive contract in sports history” –As they define it in Spain– it is visualized that the income is 380,299 euros gross per day (210,297 euros net), although they clarify: “You have to add the income from the exploitation of your image, a section in which the player also reserves up to 80% of the income obtained from this concept”. The fixed salary per season is, in total, 72.151.200 euros.
In detail, the document contains 30 pages between which the different details of the employment contract and one for image rights are distributed. The signatures that appear at the bottom are those of Messi, those of the aforementioned Bartomeu, but also the names of Jordi Mestre (former sports vice president who resigned in mid-2019 in the middle of a scandal) and Óscar Grau (CEO of Barcelona at that time) . There, too, appeared the astronomical jump in the rescission clause that weeks ago generated controversy when Leo had made the decision to leave the Blaugrana: went from 250 million euros to 700.
The first major income that the publication emphasizes is related to 97.941.250 euros that Messi assured himself automatically charge in two payments as renewal premium. Most of this figure was received a month after signing and the remaining percentage at the end of 2018.
The focus of the report is also positioned on the fourth section of the contract where Messi receives for his “Salary, tab, premiums for games won, allowances, compensation for private trips and seniority bonus”, a fixed amount per season of 61.328.520 euros. This without adding the “prizes and bonuses”: if you meet all the objectives set, your bank account receives some 15.6 million euros gross. However they clarify that in no season did it climb to that figure since it did not meet all the goals raised to receive the total money.
The newspaper had access to all the pages of that document and specifies one by one the items that mean an extra income to the 31-year-old footballer beyond the fixed salary: 1,656,034 euros if you play “60% of the games”, 1.656.034 euros for classifying the Champions, 946.305 euros if it reaches the eighths final, 1.419.458 euros to enter the rooms at the end of that contest, 1.419.461 euros for disputing the semifinal and that same figure for obtaining the ticket to the final. How much would a title in the top continental tournament give you? 3,548,644 euros, although he never won the Orejona since he put the rubric to these papers.
The title of the League means others 2.365.766 euros, the one with the King’s Cup 591,442 euros and be chosen as the best player of the season by other FIFA 591.442 euros. The newspaper The world specify that for all these variables Leo amassed an extra 25.3 million since you signed the link.
However, one of the clauses that classify as “Amazing” is associated with the “fidelity” you have for the club. That is to say “simply by remaining in the discipline of Barça until February 1, 2020”: the contract that Bartomeu signed gave him 66.240.462 euros apart from the fixed salary for complying with this item.
As well specified, the document is separated into two approaches: the employment relationship and image rights. The renewal premium obtained by this agreement is 17.283.750 euros also to be collected in two parts between December 31, 2017 and the same date in 2018.
The agreement for the income generated by the image of the most important soccer player in the world in recent years has different bonuses beyond a fixed annual amount of 10.822.680 euros. Among the items that give you an extra prize is that of play 60% of the games (292,241 euros), for qualify for the Champions (292,241 euros), for play the eighth (166,995 euros), the rooms (250,493 euros), the semifinals (250,493 euros) and the final (250,493 euros). Each title is also an extra income: 626.231 euros for the Champions, 417.488 euros for the Spanish League, 104.372 euros for the Copa del Rey and 104.372 euros for being the best FIFA player. In the image rights section, the “loyalty” bonus amounts to 11,689,493 euros.
In other words, if he had met all the sporting and personal goals from 2017 to date, the aforementioned newspaper clarifies that Messi would have added the scheduled total: 555.237.619 euros. However, to this day, it managed to accumulate more than 90% according to the calculations made by journalists Martí Saballs and Esteban Urreiztieta –director and deputy director of the media, respectively– who signed the note: 511.290.052 euros.
What is not detailed in this publication is the impact that the 70% salary reduction announced in March 2020 by the squad with Lionel Messi at the helm, taking into account the economic scenario due to the pandemic. Among the broad display that the media presented to delve into this topic, there is also the analysis of Marc Ciria, a finance expert and founding partner of Diagonal Inversiones, who provides context to the news: “When a sponsor goes to Barcelona, 90% of the slides that the marketing team presents include the figure of Messi. 30% of Barça’s current income is provided by him. He is the flagship man, the Jordan of football. That Messi charges what he charges is normal. That Umtiti charges what he charges, to give an example, is not normal. Barcelona is now in the UVI, but it is essential that Messi continues so that Barça’s economic recovery is short ”.
The influence of the Argentine in the history of the club is overwhelming: before his debut, Barcelona had 16 leagues; With Leo, he amassed another 10 in just a decade and a half. To this must be added, among other sporting merits, obtaining four Champions League and three Club World Cups.
Beyond the focus on the figures of the link that unites Messi with Barcelona, in recent days it was known that the club has a debt of 196.7 million euros only in transfer of players with names like Frenkie de Jong, Philippe Countinho or Francisco Trincao. Coupled with this, the total short-term debt is 731 million of euros. Meanwhile, the elections had to be delayed due to the pandemic and the club is experiencing a confusing political moment.
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