A few days ago a Spanish sports news media, El Mundo, reported having a copy of Lionel Messi’s leaked contract. This is a massive breach of privacy in the sports world, but especially for Messi and FCB. The result of this leak is that Messi and his team of lawyers are planning on suing the publication company and they also have 5 people that could’ve leaked his contract to the media. According to El Mundo, Messi could’ve made around €555 million in just four years! That’s around $140 million per year. That salary is greater than Steph Curry’s (highest paid in NBA), Chris Paul (second-highest in NBA), and Patrick Mahomes (highest paid in NFL) combined! This is definitely worrying for some people since the club he plays for, FC Barcelona is currently €1.2 billion in debt and the players’ wages take up %75 of their budget.
Whoever leaked the contract, wanted to insinuate that the club’s financial crisis was partly Messi’s fault, what he failed to mention, is the amount of profits Messi brings to the club. Economist Marc Ciria has broken down this problem to determine whether or not Messi is a key figure to FCB’s financial date. His study showed that even his annual salary is a crazy amount, the profits he brings for the club, thanks to social media, merchandise, and bringing fans to the stadium, is actually higher. An FCB shirt with his name on it brings between 90-180 million euros per year. Ciria’s conclusion is that Messi brings around €150 million in profit each year, so he can’t be the reason for the Club’s financial crisis. It is also important to note that sponsors renew their deals along with when Messi renews his contract. Suggesting that some of these sponsors wouldn’t be present without Messi’s brand.
The 33-year old, 6 times Ballon D’or winner, has given names of people that possibly could have leaked his contract. These names included people like: Josep Maria Bartomeu (former FCB president), Jordi Mestre (former vice-president of the club), Oscar Garu (director general), Carles Tusquets (current interim president), and lastly Roman Gomez Ponti (head of legal services). The leak is suspected to come from someone inside the club as only Messi, La Liga, and the Club’s files have access to the contract. This has taken a hit on Messi’s figure since people think he’s is making way too much money even for an athlete of his level. Let’s hope Messi and his team can figure out who leaked this information soon and get this situation over with.