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Open Thread: August 6, 2021

Our Friday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Real Madrid Pre-Season Training Session Photo by Pedro Castillo/Real Madrid via Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

It’s Curtains for Messi in LaLiga

Messi has left the building.

Barcelona’s official statement:

Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi, with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract, it can’t be formalised due to economic and structural obstacles.

The biggest consequence, apart from no longer having Messi’s influence on the pitch, is that Barcelona is going to be announcing massive financial losses. Unlike Real Madrid who have been at pains to stick to their principles of financial responsibility and playing fairly, Josep Bartomeu and Joan Laporta have been spending with reckless abandon and now as a result they are without their franchise earner and superstar.

Him leaving on a free transfer is catastrophic for the Catalans. They won’t even be getting a dead cat bounce sum of money from the loss of Messi. That’s an amazingly terrible bit of business. Barcelona will still be one of the great clubs of football, but it will be paying for going so foolishly overboard with these wage bills for a long time. The minimally responsible things to do would have been: 1. Bring Messi’s 71 million EUR per year salary down by, oh, about half and bravely deal with the consequences if he rejects the offer, and 2. Just like Real Madrid had to do with Cristiano Ronaldo, Barca had to cash out on Messi while he was still around 32 and could bring in a handsome fee. But they kept clinging on for dear life until the bitter end and now look where they are. It puts into perspective the tough decisions that clubs sometimes have to make for their own self-interest, though at great pains for many fans.

Meanwhile on El Chiringuito TV in Spain:

What happens now?

The only two clubs with the kind of money laying around the palace in piles to pay Messi’s wage bills are Manchester City and PSG. It is reasonably unlikely that Messi and his family will want to relocate to Manchester with its drab weather; ergo joining up with Neymar, Ramos and Di Maria in Paris seems destined to happen.

MARCA has a piece up about Messi’s options: What next? Which team will Messi join.

Barcelona are still dealing with a big problem to offload some expensive players still on their payroll who haven’t worked out: Antoine Griezmann (€ 45,8m), Samuel Umtiti (€ 12m), Philippe Coutinho (€ 8,5m), and Miralem Pjanic (€ 8,4).

La Liga is now without any of the players considered the greatest in the world. It won’t be just Barcelona that will find itself taking a hit to the purse — La Liga will suffer without the attraction of world stars. If Messi does go to PSG, this would seem to open the way for Mbappe to be the bright new light of La Liga. Let’s take a poll on it.


If Messi signs for PSG, do you think this changes the situation for Mbappe, incentivizing the French club to make a deal with Real Madrid?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    (300 votes)
  • 6%
    (40 votes)
  • 10%
    Not sure, but it could happen now.
    (61 votes)
  • 31%
    Financial Fair Play means nothing to PSG now and this club seems to have a nearly unlimited source of funding. It will happen when Mbappe runs his contract out in one year.
    (181 votes)
582 votes total Vote Now

What about that weird deal Tebas cut with CVC to sell 11% of La Liga for a paltry 2.4 billion EUR?

Real Madrid sent their lawyers in to work over the details and will lead the opposition against it. They have issued the following resounding statement:

In light of the announcement of the agreement between LaLiga and CVC Capital Partners:

This agreement was reached without the involvement or knowledge of Real Madrid and today, for the first time, LaLiga has given us limited access to the terms of the agreement.

The clubs have signed over their audiovisual rights exclusively for their sale on a competitive basis for a period of three years. This agreement, by way of a misleading structure, expropriates 10.95 percent of the clubs’ audiovisual rights for the next 50 years, in breach of the law.

The negotiation was carried out without competitive proceedings and the financial conditions agreed with CVC Capital Partners give them annual returns of over 20 percent. This opportunistic fund is the same which tried and failed to reach similar agreements with the Italian and German leagues.

Real Madrid cannot support a venture which hands the future of 42 Primera and Segunda Division clubs over to a group of investors, not to mention the futures of those clubs who qualify over the next 50 years.

Real Madrid will convene the Assembly of Representative Members to debate the agreement and discuss the significant loss of equity, unprecedented in our 119-year history.

It is striking that without Real Madrid’s initiative and leadership this deal struck by Tebas would probably have gone through without a hitch, greatly to the detriment of football clubs in Spain. Tebas simply declared the sale of these clubs’ equity to CVC a done deal. That’s astounding. Now the Spanish teams have a chance to fight against this move. As a Real Madrid fan, I notice that as time goes by there keep appearing new ways to be impressed by the high standards of the club, the responsibility of its practices and their willingness to buck against the herd if necessary. I see why great footballers want to stay and hang around Real Madrid City, including former club legends, and never leave. The club has been a significant source for what has gone right historically with La Liga, earning it a strong reputation. This is true again today.

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