Just when it looked as if the Messi case was going to be resolved thanks to the latest influx of cash organised by LaLiga, Thursday evening’s bombshell dropped: Messi was leaving Barcelona. The club weren’t able to hold on to him even with the cash boost, which, it’s worth noting has not been well received whatsoever by Laporta, following Florentino. Barcelona’s statement talks of “financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations)”, which is exactly the situation. Messi’s new contract, even with the reduction (or deferral, rather, with payments delayed) is still too much with everything else the club has. But it’s intriguing that Barcelona are linking, in time at least, the Messi situation and their complaint about the “CVC deal”.
Barcelona’s numbers couldn’t add up
Even without having the actual numbers to hand (who does have them?) I can’t imagine how Barcelona could get within the economic control limits, even with an indulgent auditor, such as Tebas. Only Aleñá, Mathieu and Todibo have left, while they were unable to sell Dembelé, Coutinho and Griezmann, they’ve signed Agüero, Memphis, Eric García and Emerson and there’s been no answer from the captains (Piqué, Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto who took advantage of Bartomeu as part of Messi’s gang) to the request that they take a 40% cut. There was no way the numbers were going to work.
Time will heal the wound for Barcelona fans
With the passing of time we’ll find out the details of what happened in the hours leading up to the decision. What there is right now is loss. After Cristiano Ronaldo left, LaLiga coped thanks to the enormous prestige of Messi. Now the Spanish top flight can still boast of its big clubs but there’s no massive names to go along with them. People will look more than ever to Mbappé, thinking that it’s likely that Messi will end up at PSG, meaning the French player can negotiate with Madrid, who have taken better care of their finances than Barcelona but are still coping with the commitment to the new stadium. As to Barça, they’ll be left with a gaping hole that time will eventually heal. To sum up, it was beautiful while it lasted.