Barcelona Confirm Lionel Messi Exit, Situation Gets More Complicated


This was an unexpected turn of events. FC Barcelona announced on Thursday that Lionel Messi, the franchise player of all franchise players, the galactico of all galacticos, is set to leave the Catalan club. How did this happen? Where did it all go wrong?

Didn’t Messi and Barcelona just reach a verbal agreement, on a new a five year extension, just about three weeks ago? Yes, yes they did, but unfortunately what both sides hoped to achieve in theory just won’t work out on paper. That’s because Barca can’t register him and his massive deal in accordance with La Liga requirements and by-laws.


Basically, in the La Liga version of the salary club, Barca simply can’t fit Messi in because their fiscal situation is, well, messy. (Sorry!!!)

Barcelona may be one of the three biggest clubs in the entire world, but they’re still a billion dollars in debt, at least $800 million of which is short term.

And they still went out and splashed the cash in the transfer window this summer (which right now seems like kind of a poor decision).

Barca’s club statement reads:

Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations) .

Faced with this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue linked to FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot finally be fulfilled.

Barça would like to wholeheartedly thank the player for his contribution to the growth of the institution and wish him the best in his personal and professional life.

So what do they do now? Where do they go from here? Well, Manchester City have certainly not been shy about their intentions to acquire Lionel Messi, but they have already moved on found other players to fill their voids. Today was the day that they announced their new English transfer fee record breaking signing, in Jack Grealish.

He just happens to play the same position as Messi and he costs 100 million GBP. City is also working on trying to close Tottenham franchise player Harry Kane too, so it’s fair to say they’ve allocated/are allocating their resources elsewhere.

Let’s look at the other of the two clubs that exist on a financial plane high above everybody else, Paris Saint-Germain.

However, they have been this summer’s transfer window champion, making more key/good signings than anybody, so it’s fair to say that PSG is an option, but it’s complicated.

lionel messi

Bayern Munich? Juventus? Where? In all likelihood, this is going to take awhile, and a lot of elbow grease will need to be applied, but he might just end up staying put.

It’s going to take a lot of work from his camp, the Camp Nou and La Liga, but since all three sides are on the same page, it should probably, eventually get done.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

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