Sometimes you just see a report that has to be completely and utterly made up, but it looks like this one could “technically” be true.
There’s no doubt that allowing the greatest footballer of all time to leave on a free transfer will lead to fans saying things like “that should be a criminal offence”, but it actually might be in a round about kind of way.
Ultimately it all comes down to the financial damage that the club will suffer, and Spanish outlet Cuatro have explained how Josep Maria Bartomeu could face a prison sentence over the entire situation.
It looks like this could depend on the Argentine star leaving for free next summer, as that will result in Barcelona suffering a huge financial loss in terms of losing all the marketing income that comes from Messi, while receiving no fee will leave them in a deficit as they try to replace him.
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Technically that means the next President could launch social responsibility action against Bartomeu, which could lead to a pretty extraordinary situation.
If it’s successfully proven that the President was negligible then he will be personally liable for the financial loss, so he would either have to repay the club from his personal funds or he would face a lengthy jail sentence.
You have to think that there’s no way this could really happen and it’s all completely absurd, but it’s yet another reason why the current President needs to do all he can to keep Messi at the club.
It seems this is purely a financial issue so if they sell him for a giant fee then it won’t be an issue, but his contract does expire next summer so things could get interesting.