At the time, the Argentine had one year left on his contract, and he sought out a number of changes and benefits. In fact, he made nine demands, specifically, ranging from exorbitant bonuses to a private plane. The player and club failed to agree to an extension, and his contract expired in the summer of 2021.
Messi remained with the club for one year after these demands. However, he departed for PSG as a free agent.
Messi’s contract demands at Barcelona
Messi’s demands to remain at Barcelona existed for a potential three-year contract. At the time, Messi was 33, and he practically carried Barcelona to relevance in the previous campaign.
- Three-year extension
- Private box for both his family and Luis Suarez’s
- $10 million bonus
- $10,000 release clause (down from $700 million)
- Repayment of wage cuts from during the pandemic (with interest)
- Private plane
- Salary raise
- Personal assistant
- Commission for his brother
Barca and Lionel Messi came to an agreement on seven out of those nine demands. However, the Catalan club balked at the massive signing bonus and the ridiculously low release clause. LaLiga insist on teams to issue release clauses to their players. A $10,000 release clause, particularly for a player such as Messi, is essentially nonexistent.
Following the release of the report, Barca issued a statement rejecting the claims. “In relation to the information published today in El Mundo del Siglo XXI under the title ‘Barça Leaks, the Club’s secret files part 1’, FC Barcelona expresses its indignation at the intentional leaking of information that is part of a legal process,” the statement read.
“The Club regrets that the media in question boasts of having ‘access to a huge amount of documents and e-mails that are part of the Barçagate investigation’ when this information is yet to be shared.”
“In any case, the article in question makes public documents that have noting to do with the ongoing case and their use is an affront to the reputation and confidentiality of the Club. For that reason, and with the aim of protecting FC Barcelona’s rights, the Club’s legal department are studying the legal measures that need to be taken.”
Previous reports suggested that Messi was making a base salary of about $168.5 million per season in his final years at Barca. These figures did not include massive bonuses as well.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Xinhua
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