Lionel Messi is back in the news in Barcelona after the newspaper El Mundo yesterday published a series of emails, included in the Barçagate investigation, in which his father and representative, Jorge Messi, his lawyers and former president Josep Maria Bartomeu , discussed the conditions for the player to renew his contract in 2020.
The club issued a statement to express “its indignation” at what it called a “interested leak” of information that is part of a legal proceeding and regrets that the newspaper presumes to have had “a huge amount of documentation” in power of research. The note states that the information “attacks the reputation and confidentiality of the club”.
Messi had one more year left on his contract. They were times of crisis due to the pandemic. According to the aforementioned newspaper, on May 4 Bartomeu addressed the footballer’s father with a first proposal in which he wanted to “agree on the renewal for one more year with a section indicating that each of the following seasons will automatically be renewed if Leo does not say the opposite before April 30”. Jorge Messi requested a family box at the Camp Nou and a private flight to Argentina for the whole family, which was accepted without a hitch.
On July 11, Jorge Pecourt, lawyer for Cuatrecasas, sent a letter to Bartomeu; Òscar Grau, CEO of the club, and Román Gómez-Ponti, head of legal services, with a copy to Jorge Messi and Alfonso Nebot, head of the Leo Messi Family office, which listed all Messi’s specific conditions for renewal.
It was a contract until 2023 with the possibility of a unilateral extension for Leo Messi. The fixed salary is reduced by 20% in 2020-21, recovering 10% in 21-22 and another 10% in 22-23 with interest of 3% per annum. Payment of outstanding loyalty bonuses with interest. Also, rent for the families of Messi and Luis Suárez; private Christmas flight for the whole family to Argentina; in case of termination, payment of the amounts deferred from the 20-21 course plus interest; 10 million contract signing bonus to be paid in 2023; increase in remuneration in the event of an increase in taxes and elimination of the termination clause, which will be set at 10,000 euros (at that time it was 700 million). In addition to these conditions, Messi asked for the renewal of Pepe Costa so that his contract would last the same and a commitment for Rodrigo Messi to collect the commissions owed to him. Much of this, Bartomeu refused. The president urged the Messis to wait for income levels around 1.1 billion for any increase. The Messi family refused to accept and the talks ended at that point. In August, the burofax would arrive, the change of presidency and the continuity of the star for one more year until the tearful departure for PSG in 2021.