Lionel Messi hasn’t been a player for Barca for 2 years, and he agreed to join Inter Miami a month ago. However, the Messi-Barca saga is not yet over, as the media reports that the reigning La Liga champions have to pay him until 2025.
Why does Barca owe money to Messi?
In January of last year, in an interview with Cadena SER radio in Spain, when asked if Barca still owed Messi, President Joan Laporta replied, “We don’t have anything pending. Everything is going towards reaching an agreement with him.”
Recently, Laporta confirmed that Barca is still paying Messi’s salary and will continue to do so for at least 2 more years. He said, “Do we owe Messi money? The only thing we owe is delayed salary payments agreed upon with the club’s previous board of directors. This creates pending payments that will be completed by 2025. We are making payments respectfully.”
Why does Barca have to pay Messi even though he’s no longer with them?
This is the money that Barca owes Messi as part of the salary in his final contract with the club. The issue is that an agreement was reached during that time to alleviate the club’s financial issues. The World Cup winner signed that contract in 2017 when Josep Maria Bartomeu was the club’s president. The agreement spanned 4 years, and Messi eventually reached the end of his contract and joined PSG on a free transfer in the summer of 2021.
According to Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, Messi could pocket up to €138 million per season under that contract, including fixed wages and potential add-on fees. A portion of this amount still needs to be paid because Messi agreed to delayed payments to support the club during their financial difficulties. Two years after leaving Camp Nou, Barca is fulfilling their obligation and paying El Pulga the amount he is entitled to.
How much does Barca owe Messi?
It’s unclear how much of Messi’s salary Barca agreed to delay and how much is still pending. The only thing we know is that these payment arrangements were made in 2020. At that time, former President Bartomeu asked the whole team to collaborate and collectively support the club amidst the challenges of playing without spectators due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused financial difficulties.
For Barca, the suspension of football activities during the pandemic had severe consequences as they are one of the biggest wage bill owners in Europe and rely heavily on generating colossal revenues to operate. Some players of the Catalan giants agreed to wage reductions, while others accepted delayed payments. In fact, some agreed to both.
Regarding Messi’s case, his delayed payments from 2020 and 2021 have been divided into smaller portions for an extended payment period, as recently revealed by Laporta, until 2025.
Does this affect Messi’s career at Inter Miami?
Absolutely not. The money that Barca owes Messi and his future career at the age of 36 in the United States are separate matters. In fact, during his two years at PSG, he has been receiving delayed salary payments from Barca without any impact. It’s simply an obligation that Barca has to fulfill as agreed upon in the contract.
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