Chances are you’ll need to go forward and tear these tickets up. Or not, as a result of as with something regarding Barcelona, Lionel Messi, and La Liga, nothing is ever fairly because it appears.
In the intervening time, Twitter and soccer circles are rocking as Barcelona themselves have announced that Lionel Messi will not be rejoining the club. He’s been one thing of a free agent, although by no means actually providing himself as much as anybody else, after final season ended. This will sound acquainted, as Messi tried to assert he was a free agent after the 2019-2020 season on account of a clause in his contract that kind of obtained misplaced within the midst of the pandemic. Barca wouldn’t let him go, he didn’t actually need to pressure his means out, nobody needed to pony up $700 million or so to free him, so that they caught collectively for an additional yr when his contract did run out.
And reports about a month ago steered they’d agreed to a brand new deal. There was one challenge, Barca couldn’t register him or any of their free switch signings — Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia — on account of La Liga’s monetary guidelines. In a nutshell, La Liga assigns a wage cap to every crew primarily based on their revenues. For the longest time, each Madrid and Barca have been allowed to have astronomical payrolls as a result of they made astronomical cash.
However the pandemic curtailed that, and Barca simply misplaced out on a season and 1 / 4 or so of ticket gross sales, excursions of their museum, and all associated revenues from that. Stories have Barca’s spending restrict capped down to about $190 million for this season. For comparability’s sake, their restrict simply two years in the past, pre-pandemic, was $794 million. You’ll be able to see the issue.
Barca have spent all summer time attempting to both get gamers to go away, or take pay cuts, or discover some genie to make them disappear into skinny air. What they’ve discovered is that groups aren’t significantly fascinated by their deadweight any greater than they’re fascinated by every other groups’ deadweight. Gamers like Philippe Coutinho or Samuel Umitit are just about concrete sneakers for Barca proper now, however they will’t discover any takers. They’ve been desperately attempting to stuff Antoine Griezmann and his galactic wage (reportedly $53 million per year) in a field marked for Atletico Madrid, however haven’t been in a position to shut that both. And the season begins in simply over per week.
Which implies that all their free-agent signings, together with Messi, haven’t been formally registered, though they didn’t contain a switch charge. Simply their salaries put Barca over that restrict set by the league.
Does this imply Messi is not going to truly run out on the Nou Camp for the Blaugrana this season? Properly, not precisely, solely presumably. This stuff have a humorous means of understanding, and a humorous means of bending guidelines to see that they do. Simply this week, La Liga sold 10 percent of itself to CVC Capital Companions for a cool $3 billion, 10 p.c of which works to Barcelona alone. There are some fairly heavy restrictions as to what that cash can be utilized for and what it counts towards, however these are the sorts of issues that get muddled when golf equipment like Barcelona are concerned.
Secondly, as a lot as La Liga has talked robust about not letting Barcelona out of cash jail, it’s arduous to image that they’re simply positive with the world’s greatest star skipping the nation to a different league. Did we point out ESPN began forking over some $175 million a year for the US broadcast rights to La Liga? What do we expect their emotions are in the meanwhile? Think about there are a few telephones ringing in La Liga places of work proper now from Connecticut.
It might not be past Barca to make use of this as some kind of posturing to get particular therapy or some kind of exception to maintain Messi round. Whether or not this recreation of hen will work, if certainly that’s what it’s, is one other query. The assertion from the membership itself on their web site undoubtedly pins the blame on La Liga and never a capability to come back to phrases with Messi. You’ll be able to see what they’re getting at fairly simply.
If he’s certainly leaving, the soccer world could also be on excessive alert however there are solely a few locations that would even take into account bringing him in. One is PSG to reunite with Neymar, and one other is Manchester Metropolis to reunite with Pep Guardiola. Nonetheless, Metropolis simply yesterday closed a deal of $160 million for Jack Grealish, and are nonetheless singing sonnets to Harry Kane on Tottenham’s balcony for what could possibly be $200 million or extra. Sure, their cash pit is countless, however even that is pushing it for them.
Juventus will like to listen to their title talked about, however contemplating their caterwauling about their funds after the pandemic, they’re a longshot. Whereas sure MLS golf equipment could have their ears up at immediately’s information (hello there, Inter Miami), Messi is sort of actually not able to take that step down simply but, even when he has stated he’d prefer to play on these shores at some point.
As for what Barca would appear like with out Messi and presumably any of the free-agent signings they’re attempting to get within the door, there’s a saying my father favored to trot out commonly. “Utterly fucked with none of the customary enjoyable.”
There are nonetheless a few twists coming to this. Perhaps Messi doesn’t be part of the Barca crew till January. Perhaps La Liga relents. Perhaps Barca and the league provide you with some kind of inventive answer (selling a training ground has labored for a crew in related straits earlier than). This isn’t over but.
https://deadspin.com/hey-so-uhh-if-you-bet-barca-to-win-la-liga-this-seaso-1847431240 | FC Barcelona says Lionel Messi gained’t rejoin crew in La Liga