Lionel Messi’s Barcelona contract: he deserves every penny
Let’s do a little thought experiment.
If Barcelona is generating over a billion dollars a year, who should be eligible for that money? The players or the executives as the club has no owners other than its contributing members who cannot make a profit from it?
The players sure.
And if one of those players is the best ever, who brought a truckload of cutlery and broke all kinds of records and stuck it over the cracks for years as the roster steadily declined, isn’t they entitled to a disproportionate share of The Pot? Especially when the rest of the squad can barely get by on crumbs, earn their own eight-figure salaries, and band together for the biggest payroll in all sports?
Lionel Messi deserves every penny of his oversized contract.
An annual salary of up to $ 167 million when all bonuses are triggered – and Messi has reportedly averaged 92 percent of that number over the course of the deal he signed in November 2017. A signing bonus of $ 140 million. And $ 95 million in loyalty rewards.
That’s a total of up to $ 903 million in just four seasons, of which Messi will raise about $ 850 million.
The game was predictable. How could a soccer player make so much money? How could he charge his youth club such an exorbitant amount to play for when Barca struggled?
The design of the El Mundo headline is deceptive. Messi’s Pharaonic contract ruins Barcelona.
Certainly Barca’s $ 1.5 billion debt, also exposed by El Mundo, throws Messi’s world record pact – could he be the highest-paid contract worker in the world in any field? – In a dark light. And it is tempting to conclude that after 20 years at the club, the Argentine superstar has become a burden on his financially crippled team.
However, all of this assumes that Barcelona does not have an agency here. Barca willingly and eagerly signed Messi to renew contract renewals in 2013, 2014 and 2017. In fact, Messi tried to terminate his final year of his contract last summer but the club argued that the clause had expired and threatened legal action. Messi gave in and stayed. If his salary was such an issue, why didn’t the club take the chance to break free of it? Or actually sell it while it could still charge a substantial transfer fee?
Nor is it Messi’s fault that Barcelona spent a whopping 74 percent of their $ 1 billion in revenue on player salaries in the 2019-20 season, when La Liga are reportedly capping wages at 70 percent of income and 50 percent considered reasonable Share for a financially healthy club. He may devour more than a fifth of his annual salary, but his teammates are also some of the highest-paid players in the world.
And at the start of the pandemic, Messi agreed to defer 70 percent of his salary to help the club survive financially and save jobs.
Since the money is there and it goes mostly to the players, who is making more or more of it than Messi? Not only has he won six Ballons d’Or as best player in the world and led Barcelona to ten Spanish and four European titles, but Messi has kept Barca competitive for years and prevented their decline. Over the past decade, generation players like Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves, Neymar and Luis Suarez have withdrawn or left. His colleagues Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique remain, but have noticeably shrunk.
The longer Messi plays for Barca, the weaker his supporting cast has become. Remember that as a teenager, the roster was filled with Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Deco, and Xavi and Iniesta. However, there has been no drop in results up to this season thanks to Messi – at least domestically.
And while Messi himself doesn’t control the games as often as he used to, he remains the best hope of winning games every day he’s on the team sheet. Less than 6 months before his 34th birthday and despite two injuries, Messi’s 11 goals in La Liga are more than double those of his closest teammate, the expensive Antoine Griezmann, or one of the other players who went for more than $ 100 million bought and paid ten of millions in his own right.
None of this takes into account the value Messi brings to the Barcelona brand, their merchandise store, or their TV ratings. Several economists have said they believe Barca will make a profit on Messi’s wages due to its impact on sponsorship, tour revenue and prize money. Through a measurementMessi accounts for around 30 percent of Barcelona’s income. If that’s true, the club’s return of $ 300 million on its $ 167 million salary – or $ 212 million from you paying off its signing and loyalty rewards – makes its deal seem perfectly reasonable.
In any case, Messi makes more money than any athlete before him, considering that his personal sponsors can potentially double his club revenues. However, it is an amount that matches what he is offering the club. It’s a salary justified by the mere fact that he’s Lionel Messi.
Leander Schaerlaeckens is a columnist at Emox News and a lecturer in sports communications at Marist College. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.
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