Will Barcelona be able to retain Messi?

After Lionel Messi’s contract got leaked, which further underlined how non-sustainability of Barcelona’s finances, big questions are arising regarding the club captain Messi’s future at the club. 

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Messi seemed to be extremely unhappy to see the details of his contract all over El Mundo on Sunday, but this won’t be affecting his chances of leaving the club because if the leak were done from inside the club, it would have definitely come from people who are no longer in charge, maybe anyone from the former board or who are only temporarily in charge. However, from 7th March, the club is going to have a new president.

Joan Laporta, who is the favourite and has also claimed that Messi would stay as Laporta spoke to Messi on Sunday and Messi made indications of him wanting to stay at the club. However, also, Barcelona still needs to offer him the right deal.

But this short-term debt of €720m has increased the concern if the club will be able to match his current deal as his current deal is never going to be matched and was never going to be an option anyway. But then with the pandemic has massively reduced the club’s revenue, and due to this, it was clear that he was going to have to take a pay cut for the obvious reasons.

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As if the club gets back to 2019’s €840m annual revenue, it will be a real issue in maintaining his status, at least as the club’s top earner might not be impossible.

But if travel and attendance during the football match get back to normal by September 2021, Messi would be able to kick off his first season with the new contract, if done as that becomes more feasible. These calculations and decisions would be done by the new president as it’s highly unlikely that Messi will play another full season in Europe beyond the next World Cup so the next two seasons may be his last.

Read: Lionel Messi generates more than he earns as he generated €619m revenue for Barcelona since 2017

If Rakuten again chooses to sponsor it they will be willing to pay a more considerable amount if Messi continues to wear the No 10 and in his last ever games to huge global audiences and things will be different if it isn’t. Diario Sport’s front page said “Messi had been responsible for €237m (£209m) of revenue in the last three years. The numbers can always be contested but it’s clear the Barcelona brand is considerably more attractive with Messi than without him.”

Interestingly, most favourite presidential candidate, Laporta, has already spoken about the possibility of two types of bonds scheme that would raise immediate capital, including, targeting the Barca fans. For their investment, those who are interested in buying the bonds, and the second one, would be bonds in a more literal sense with members and non-members similarly those who will be able to buy bonds, will be repayable within the president’s five-year term, Including interest. 

This, however, will bring in private finance in the club, but without compromising the club’s member-ownership model, and the second idea would have to be first passed by the National Securities Market Commission before it could come to use.

Most important, Messi had already made it clear last summer that his family was delighted if they could stay where they were already residing, and if he decides to move in the summer it will be against their wishes. But of course, keeping in mind if Barca flats out and if they can’t afford him then Messi does have to take a decision.

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