If you think about it carefully, this was always going to happen.
Josep Maria Bartomeu has systematically destroyed every last vestige of what it meant for Barcelona to be ‘Mes que un club.’
Ever since he was elected on the back of the 2015 treble win and the promise of signing Arda Turan, Bartomeu has been out of his depth.
Decision after decision has been poor, and as the hole has got ever deeper, the president has tried every which way to get out of it – and failed.
COVID-19 was like a dagger to the heart of every club, but more so in Barca’s case.
Every year the club have to be ‘in the black’ for the purpose of accounting, otherwise the money comes out of the pockets of the members of the board. Hence the ridiculous Arthur/Pjanic swap deal.
With a year to go until his presidency ends, and the club still losing money hand over fist, the only way Bartomeu can claw back the necessary funds is by pushing the clubs greatest ever player out of the door.
The 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich, dare we suggest, probably saw the president rubbing his hands together, for it will have made the decision that much easier.
Bringing in Ronald Koeman, a hard-line manager known for his inability to manage players with big egos, was the icing on the cake.
Once Luis Suarez was sent packing, that sealed the deal. Messi was never going to stay after that.
The only issue that remains is whether the club will be able to command a transfer fee for their captain.
Even if they aren’t, the board will have rid themselves of Messi’s wages and likely will save themselves from financial ruin in 12 months time, when they can simply hand over the mess to any new incumbent.