The legal battle that awaits Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona

The legal battle that awaits Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona

Espadas en alto entre Messi y la junta directiva del FC Barcelona | sport

if the two sides don't sit down and resolve this matter, it feels inevitable the situation will be decided in court

FC Barcelona supporters are being forced to sit through a battle between the club, led by Josep Maria Bartomeu, and their greatest ever player, Lionel Messi. With each passing day, this battle chips away at the greatness of the club and harms Leo's legacy. What both sides are forgetting is that "a bad agreement is better than a good judgement".

The two sides have said they would like to meet but Messi refused to attend the round of PCR testing and isn't expected to appear for training today either as he looks to force his departure.

So far, Barça haven't opened disciplinary proceedings against the man they still consider their captain. 

Everyone is waiting for Jorge Messi, the player's father and agent, to arrive in Barcelona to meet with Bartomeu. Leo would prefer to leave having reached an agreement on his departure with the club.

MESSI's strategy

  1. He believes the 'exit clause' was active at the moment he sent the burofax (25th August)
  2. He believes he is no longer a Barça player and doesn't need to pay the €700m buyout clause
  3. He didn't attend the PCR tests on the 30th August and won't attend training on the 31st August either
  4. He still wants a meeting with Barça so he can leave on good terms
  5. He wants to finalise an agreement with a big European side: Manchester City are the favourites
  6. He will ask for a provisional transfer from FIFA so he can sign for someone else

he feels like he's already left

Leo Messi doesn't want to spend another season at the Camp Nou, let alone discuss a new contract. He believes that due the coronavirus forcing LaLiga to end later than expected, his clause was 'active' when he sent the burofax on the 25th August.

He doesn't consider himself a Barça player and won't pay the €700m buyout clause. 'Onda Cero' claim they've seen Leo's contract and he's free to leave the club.

"This clause won't be applied if the player decides to unilaterally end his contract at the end of the 2019/20 season."

However, Barça insist that 'exit clause' period expired on the 10th June and therefore Messi is no longer able to release himself from his contract.

Messi wants to leave on good terms so he can sign for a new team. Pep Guardiola's City are frontrunners but nothing can advance until an agreement with Barça is reached first.

BARÇA's strategy

  1. The 'exit clause' expired on the 10th June as stated in the contract
  2. Messi is under contract until the 30th June 2021 and his buyout clause is 700 million euros
  3. Bartomeu refuses to sell Messi and only wants to meet to discuss a new contract
  4. Barça will stop paying him part of his contract for the days he misses training
  5. The transfer window closes on the 5th October: €700m or Leo stays
  6. If he signs for another club, Barça will take Messi to court for breach of contract and a judge will decide 


Bartomeu has said he wants Messi to sign a contract extension and won't negotiate with any other club. Barça insist Leo will only leave if someone deposits the full €700m stated in his buyout clause. If not, Messi would then need to choose whether he plays for another season or spend 12 months in the stands.

If Messi, believing he was already out of his Barça contract, asked for a provisional transfer by FIFA then Barça would take him to court for breach of contract. LaLiga has already declared they side with Barça over the contractual situation. 

He will also be fined for every day he fails to appear at the club. 

However, this whole process is only damaging the image and legacy of both the club and Lionel Messi.

potential clubs are remaining quiet 

The situation between Barça and Messi is meaning any interested parties are being forced to wait and see how the situation plays out. Manchester City, PSG and Juventus are expected to make a move for Leo should he be available.

Neither of those three sides would want a court battle and potentially be found guilty of breaking the rules.