Who is to Blame for Lionel Messi Leaving Barcelona?
Lionel Messi has to leave Barcelona after 21 years. Neither he wanted to leave nor Barcelona wanted him to leave. However, there was another factor that broke them apart.
Messi, who is loved by many fans, cried at a press conference on August 8, telling the media that he had no other choice, “The club did not want to go into more debt.”
Barca fans are looking for answers while pointing fingers in every direction. Some accused the mismanagement of the club’s leadership, while some say that La Liga has been implementing strict regulations.
The Barcelona Football Club has been so much mismanaged that for every euro earned, it has been paying 1.10 euros to compensate players’ salaries. This shows that expenditures surpass earnings. This is why the club was solely relying on debts to sign in for big games. For this reason, the club’s debt has increased to 1 billion euros.
Messi has done everything to stay in the club. he even agreed to be paid half of his salary. But his previous contract was with 555 million euros over four years.
It also included 115 million euros just for signing the deal and 78 million euros as a loyalty bonus.
After being paid this much amount, he could have played one season for Barca for free to help the club through hard times.
La Liga, who manages the top two divisions of Spanish football, created new financial rules about how much clubs can spend on player salaries in one season. After the pandemic, La Liga found that Barcelona has to cut the player salaries to stay within the rules. A drop of 47.1%.
Barcelona’s financial crisis will not be solved by more extravagant spending. La Liga was so desperate to keep Lionel Messi in Spain that they agreed to sell a 10% ownership stake in the league to private equity firm CVC Partners last week for $3 billion. Barcelona president Joan Laporta blamed the club’s failure to re-sign Messi on La Liga.
However, the financial boost could provide the club with the opportunity for re-signing Messi, but at the cost of the financial future.
The Structural Problem
Barcelona has clearly been mismanaged, but a step back from the finger-pointing reveals that the club’s risky strategy was just the tip of a long wedge in elite football. Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus have been adamant in their pursuit of the Super League. La Liga’s president, Javier Tebas, is under increasing pressure to ensure that Barcelona and Real Madrid have ever-increasing resources.
A World of Debt
The spectacle surrounding Messi’s departure from Barcelona obscures how common it has become for firms to fail as their massive debt pile grows too large to service. From 2020 to 2021, corporate debt as a percentage of global GDP increased from 93 percent to 102 percent. The figure was 78 percent in 2008. In what economists refer to as the “financialization” era, the rise in corporate debt is mirrored by increases in government and family debt.
The club has been doing business all over the world, and debt is what pushing their business. They believe that if we invest more cash now then in future we will have more profit than before.
However, in reality, there are certain limits to how much a profit could be earned.
Solving the debt crisis will require considerably more radical thinking, such as economist Steve Keen’s proposal for a global debt jubilee. We will have to warn the banks – who have been bailed out by the public purse on numerous occasions – that they will not be repaid at some point.
No one expects such answers to emerge from the world of football, but if the Messi tragedy in Barcelona can help spark a discussion about the dominance of debt in all aspects of our lives – including our football teams – then something positive may emerge.
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