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Messi now appears to be the finance director at Barcelona


With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, it was felt that this common enemy would provide a mutual truce from all sides. This has been seen, to a point in the world of politics where the virus has prompted all sides to back down from their usual obtrusive posturing. One place where it appears a truce is somewhat distant is at Barça, with recent months seeing a noticeable distance between the board and playing squad. The issue of a pay cut as a measure to counteract the financial impact of the pandemic has, once again shown the gulf between both sides. Club captain Lionel Messi felt obliged to issue a statement from his private Instagram account which hinted that, once again the Bartomeu regime were endeavouring to taint the reputation of the first team squad with the episode being just another chapter in a long running spell of antagonism from both parties.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona
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Lionel Messi of FC BarcelonaDavid RamosGetty Images

Financial hit

Ahead of yesterday's communiques from the Argentine and then the club, Bartomeu had previously met with the club captains to suggest a 70% salary drop during the current period with the players confined to their homes. The club told the captains from the football team that senior figures from the club's other disciplines (basketball, handball, hockey and indoor football) had confirmed that they were prepared to take the financial hit. This premise as presented by the club was not well received given that the bulk of the club's global wealth stems from the footballing side of the institution with the board now using the other sports and captains as role models. This was the key motivation for the Messi statement claiming that the football side would cover any shortfall during this difficult period to ensure that no club employee would lose out and the club would not have to make temporary redundancies. 

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Paradoxically, it appears that Messi is now the financial controller of a club appear to be economically exhausted, with some of this having to do with his renegotiation deals which allow him to command a salary that stretches the means of the club and who are always left in a state of anxiety with his open rolling June 30 release clause. His influence has seen various senior members secure long term contracts and that's before reflecting on the poor investment of the 222 million euro that the Neymar/PSG deal generated. His dressing room friends at Canp Nou angled for a return of the Brazilian his return last summer but there is simply not that quantity of money available at the club. The situation is so bad, that new coach Quique Setien has to call upon a limited squad at his disposal. Recent months have seen the dismissal of Valverde, Abidal's interview with Sport, the controversy of social media influencers I3 Ventures and now this...