Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO
Barcelona’s hopes of offering talisman and all-time top scorer Lionel Messi an improved contract face a stumbling block because of the expenditure caps imposed by La Liga, the Spanish champions’ CEO Oscar Grau said yesterday.
While Messi’s feted strike partners Luis Suarez and Neymar have each signed new deals until 2021, the Argentine maestro’s contract runs out on June 30 2018, giving Barca a window of 18 months to prevent him leaving the club for free.
Messi earns a reported €22 million per year after tax from Barca, while Neymar and Suarez’s salaries are believed about €25 million after their latest contract renewals, and Grau said any new deal for the Argentine would put considerable pressure on the club’s finances.
“Barcelona has to analyse this situation with a cold head and common sense. Barca can’t exceed 70 percent of its budget on wages and therefore we have to make the numbers add up,” Grau said yesterday at the Forum Europa.
La Liga agrees budgetary limits with each club at the start of every season and its regulations, known as economic controls, prevent club’s from spending over 70 percent of their budget on wages.
Barca’s budget for this season is a record €695 million. The Catalans pay the highest wages in Spain and the second highest in world soccer behind Manchester United, according to the latest publication of the Global Sports Salary Survey (GSSS), which said Barcelona players earned an average annual wage of $7 456 800.