Josep Maria Bartomeu has denied leaking Lionel Messi’s Barcelona contract to the media.
There was a fury on Sunday when the Spanish newspaper El Mundo published leaked documents detailing the contract for the best player in the world.
Details of the contract have revealed that Messi receives fixed income and bonuses that amount to € 138m (£ 112m / $ 167m) in annual revenue.
Barcelona were quick to express their fury and said legal action would be taken.
Following the splash of the newspaper, attention shifted to responsibility for the contract in the hands of El Mundo.
The fingers were pointed in the direction of Bartomeu, who resigned as Barcelona president last year, but he denied being responsible.
“This is a very serious problem and it is totally illegal to disclose professional contracts”, Mark quoted Bartomeu as saying. “Talking on TV and laying charges is easy, but it’s not a joke and it will end in court.
“I hear some media suggesting that someone on the outgoing board or I leaked this contract. And this is totally wrong.
“This is a very serious problem, it is completely illegal to filter professional contracts and it will end in court as neither Barca nor Messi can accept that this crime will come to nothing.
“I don’t know who it was. In fact, in the club only four or five people have access to the contracts, just like the Cuatrecasas lawyers who participated in the negotiation and the LFP also has a copy of all of them. player contracts. “
Eyebrows were raised at the amount of money paid to Messi, but Bartomeu said it was worth every penny and the club could easily afford to fund the contract before the coronavirus pandemic.
“The player deserves the amount because he generates more than that, both for his sporting contribution and for his commercial contribution,” Bartomeu said. “Without the crisis due to the pandemic, Barca can easily pay these figures and those of other players.”
The saga is expected to go on for some time yet, but Barca are hopeful that Messi and his teammates can stay focused as they push for top honors in the second half of the season.