This article has originally appeared on Barca Universal
Messi has been a Blaugrana for 21 years now. How could in one’s wildest dreams, one imagine him in another jersey? On the 30th of June, the Argentine’s contract expired and since then Barca President has been working day and night to make him sign the renewal contract. But this deal hasn’t seen the light of the day has its own set of problems.
It is no longer a secret that Barcelona is amidst a huge financial crisis. So much so that if they do not reduce their wage bill by a whopping 200 million Euros, they cannot officially register any of the summer signings as new Barcelona players by the RFEF. In this article, we discuss a different tangent. What if Barcelona were to not sign Leo!
Barcelona’s financial woes
A billion euros in debt, 40% above its set limit for wage bill, high waged and injury-prone players with no suitors in the market; this is what Barcelona is dealing with. Players like Samuel Umtiti, Ousmane Dembele and Phillippe Coutinho have humungous wages. The solution seems simple. Sell the players and decrease the wage bill. But it isn’t that simple.
While Umtiti has made it clear that he doesn’t want to leave the club or take a wage cut, Coutinho has no suitors in the market willing to take up his huge salary demands. Dembele might have shown some spark in his performances lately, but sometimes a scapegoat needs to be sacrificed for the bigger good.
Barcelona is in an abundance of players no one is interested in buy. The players are either too old, too inconsistent, charge too high wages, or have agonizing injury records agonizing. This catastrophic state of the club is because of none other than Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The Summer Transfer Window and Matheus Suing the Club
Barcelona has had a successful summer transfer window in terms of adding to its youth and experienced side of the game. They have also managed to do this in a rather affordable way. Players like Konrad de La Fuente, Junior Firpo and Francisco Trincao have been let go to increase finances. This is but a small piece of the puzzle.
Above all of this Matheus Fernandes is now about to sue the club. His contract was recently terminated and the Brazilian’s management is shocked at this. They believe that there would’ve been legitimate offers for him had the club not terminated his contract. They also want the club to pay in full for the remaining 4 years of his contract. Matheus in all likeliness will take the club to the court over this.
Financial Pros and Cons of not signing Messi
“Messi generates more than you spend on him. Take a sponsorship contract. If Leo is not there, the price is different.” These were the words of Barcelona president Joan Laporta to a Swiss newspaper.
A lot of statistics show that almost 20-30% of Barcelona’s overall income is generated by Messi alone. Most sponsorship deals have a ‘Messi clause’ adding a value of around 50% to them. A Barcelona sans Messi will have fewer companies interested in sponsoring. Barcelona’s over-reliance on Messi has proven to be their doom.
But even though the risk is too high, the club, now more than ever, needs to hold itself more important than its individuals. Look at Madrid after Ronaldo. They made themselves bigger than a player. Barcelona is sure to lose money and investors if Messi walks out, but it will help them promote themselves as a better club overall. Just look at what Manchester City, United, Bayern and Liverpool have achieved in the last few years.
While players in a contract are bound to stay, the same isn’t applicable with Messi. If relieved of his services at Camp Nou, Barcelona would keep 138 million (as per his last contract) for themselves. Just 62 million more and they’ve closed the wage bill gap.
Interim president Carlos Tusquets said, “I didn’t say that I would’ve sold Messi; I said that, financially, him leaving would have been good for the club […] We’d be better off because we said that his salary is the highest in the world. Nothing could be truer.”
It is clear as day. Financially, it will be wise to let Messi leave. This would save the club from a long-running ritual of depending on their generational playmaker. The club needs to move above one individual and think about the interests of the institution as a whole. But even after playing the devil’s advocate for all this while, we simply can not fathom a Barcelona without Messi. We hope that the genius of Joan Laporta finds a way out of this mess created by his predecessor soon enough. We are dying to see the little magician play in red and blue again.