“El Mundo” reveals the conditions set by Argentine star Lionel Messi to Barcelona in order to renew his contract with the club.
THE Lionel Messi returns to Barcelona news. A little over two years ago, the Argentine superstar sent the famous burofax to the club announcing his intention to leave the club.
In the end, he backtracked on his desire not to harm the club of his life, according to what he himself said, but in this story there were many contradictions and question marks, mainly about how it was possible to finally arrive at the departure of “pulga” from the group with which he identified.
THE “El Mundo” released a series of emails related to the Barçagate investigation that could shed light on the Argentine’s divorce from the Blaugrana. The aforementioned medium claims to be in possession of a large number of documents related not only to Messi, but also to other Catalan stars such as Neymar or Pique.
In the Argentine’s case, the content of the emails is between his father and representative, Jorge Messi, his lawyers and the former president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Barca’s executive leadership, in which Messi’s key terms to renew his contract in 2020 are discussed.
The Argentine still had a year left on his contract at Camp Nou and the club was facing one of the most complicated renewals in its history due to the crisis situation in the wake of the pandemic. According to documents accessed by “El Mundo”, on May 4 Bartomeu addressed Messi’s father with a first official proposal. The Barca strongman wanted to “agree to renew for another year with a clause stipulating that each of the following seasons will be automatically renewed unless Leo says otherwise before April 30.”
Jorge Messi responded with requests for a family suite at Camp Nou and a private flight to Argentina for the whole family, which the club readily agreed to. However, a few days later a document was sent to the club through the legal representatives of Argentina with all Messi’s conditions for renewal:
– Leo was asking for a contract until 2023 with the possibility of a unilateral extension
– He was taking a 20% reduction in his fixed salary for 2020/21, with losses recovered with a 10% salary increase in 21/22 and another 10% in 22/23 with interest at 3% p.a.
– Loyalty bonus payment
– Booth for the families of Messi and Luis Suarez at Camp Nou
– Private Christmas flight for the whole family to Argentina
– In the event of termination of the contract, payment of the sums deferred in the 2020/21 season plus interest
– €10 million contract signing bonus (to be paid on 30/6/2023)
– Salary increase in case of tax increase
– Removal of the release clause, which will be set at a symbolic amount of 10,000 euros (then its clause was 700 million euros)
Apart from these terms, Messi asked to resolve two more issues before signing:
– The renewal of Pepe Costa’s (personal assistant) contract to last as long as Messi’s.
– Signing an undertaking by the club to pay his brother, Rodrigo Messi, Ansu Fati’s representative, the fees owed to him.
Bartomeu refused to accept the reduction of the clause and the immediate payment of the bonus of 10 million euros. The then president of the culé believed that removing the clause would give the impression that the door was open to Barca for Messi to leave, while he considered it impossible to pay the bonus due to the financial situation and reminded the family that the team was already in trouble to maintain player salaries at pre-pandemic levels.
The Messi family refused and the talks ended at that point. The rest is history…