FC Barcelona is threatening legal action against a Spanish newspaper for publishing details of Lionel Messi’s most recent contract with the football club.
According to El Mundo, the Argentinian’s deal with Barça is worth up to €555 million over four seasons. It was signed in 2017.
On its official website, the club said it denies any responsibility for the publication of the document and will take appropriate legal action against the newspaper for any damage that may be caused as a result of the publication.
On the streets of Barcelona, there was criticism of the amount of money involved but also some understanding of the player’s worth.
“The (club’s) president is gambling with our money,” said office worker Roger Massana. “I think it’s too much money for what this player is giving to Barça. I think it’s too much.”
But mechanic Antonio Troya was more supportive.
“I think that if some footballers get more money than other sportspeople it is because they also generate that money. I think that if footballers generate more revenue than other sportspeople then why shouldn’t they get paid accordingly. Media rights, image rights. It wouldn’t be fair. If he didn’t generate that many millions in revenue at a big club that he wouldn’t be paid that money.”
Messi’s contract is believed to be the most expensive ever agreed with an athlete in any sport and he would have to pay about half of that in tax.
The report claims he’s already secured more than €510 million in revenue for the club.
The leak comes as Barcelona try to manage a huge debt created mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic.