It’s a sign of just how poorly Barcelona had been managed under the Josep Maria Bartomeu regime.
Though one of his last actions as president was to keep Lionel Messi at the club, Bartomeu’s board had previously sanctioned a loyalty payment for the Argentinian.
Given that he had wanted to leave in the summer with a switch to Manchester City mooted, we could see the ridiculous scenario where Messi decides on a reunion with Pep Guardiola and the Catalans still have to pay him €30m.
He is free to talk to other interested parties from January 1, 2021 of course.
Whether he will do so at that point, or will wait until after the new presidential elections on January 24 before making a decision we’ll have to see.
Clearly, despite the economic hardships everyone is having to face because of the coronavirus pandemic, Messi will be quids in wherever he decides to play from next season.