Barcelona fans are still eagerly awaiting official confirmation on a new contract for Lionel Messi, so what’s behind the delay?
As noted by the Guardian, it is expected that Messi will still be a Barcelona player next season, but the Catalan giants are currently unable to register him due to La Liga rules over salary caps.
Messi himself looks set to take a pay cut to remain at the Nou Camp, but Barca have not been very well run in recent years, and their financial issues have led them to pursue mostly free agents this summer, with Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay all arriving after their contracts at their previous clubs expired.
There is still the issue of several big-name flops on big contracts, however, and the Guardian claim that the club have to offload some players before being able to register Messi.
The Argentine is one of the all-time greats in the game and keeping him will be a big boost, but things are still far from rosy at Barcelona.
This paragraph from the Guardian sums the whole farce up: Barcelona’s total debt is around €1,173m. In the winter, they took a €525m loan from Goldman Sachs to help them restructure their finances, while players agreed to salary deferrals back in November. Laporta admits that Barcelona’s salaries currently account for 110% of their income. “We do not comply with financial fair play regulations,” he said. Right now, put in blunt terms, Barcelona cannot pay their players.
Once renowned as a club that did things ‘the right way’, it’s sad to see how far Barcelona have fallen in recent times, and it almost seems a minor miracle that they’ve managed to persuade Messi to stay.