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13 hours ago, compo said:

So how does this sit with these financial fair play  rules or does that just effect wee diddy clubs ,.

I get your point, but FFP only uses 3 years data, so PSG are within that; it was 4 years ago that they signed Neymar for 220M euros. 


Something like that...

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The romantic in me had visions of Messi returning to Argentina to play for a boyhood club. Or maybe a club in Europe that has a lower profile? Seeing multi millionaires like Ramos and Messi simply opt for Paris money is horrible. My desire to see PSG not win anything has only increased ten fold.

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Lionel Messi to PSG: the inside story of how a stunning deal was done

A call at 10pm last Thursday set the ball rolling on a move that had seemed impossible hours earlier

Fabrizio Romano


Wed 11 Aug 2021 08.00 BST




It was 10pm in Barcelona on Thursday when Paris Saint-Germain made their move for Lionel Messi. The stunning news had broken two hours earlier that the forward would not be staying at the Camp Nou and the way PSG went about their business showed how determined they were to get their man.

In transfers approaches are regularly made via intermediaries or agents, and clubs hoping to tempt Messi from Barcelona had often gone down this route. But PSG calculated this was a moment for the personal touch and, seeing an unexpected opening, they pounced.


The sporting director, Leonardo, made a direct approach to Messi’s father, Jorge, and the player’s lawyers – and the president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, joined the talks later that night. It is rare for Khelaifi to get involved but he did so with Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona four years ago and his presence here confirmed the move’s scale and the seriousness of PSG’s push.

On Thursday morning such a turn of events had seemed impossible. Messi and his father had travelled back to Barcelona from Ibiza for the player to sign a five-year contract to stay at the Camp Nou. An announcement was planned for 8pm and the details were clear: two years’ salary paid over five years to help the financially troubled club.

Messi was stunned and distraught when Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, said La Liga’s rules on salary limits meant the club had no way to register him. But his father quickly stressed to him the need to find a solution and both were impressed that two of the most important people at PSG came straight to them. Messi also spoke to the manager, Mauricio Pochettino.


Talks involving Khelaifi, Leonardo, Jorge Messi and the player’s lawyers went late into Thursday night and continued all through Friday. The Messi camp were excited by the project presented to them and accepted the wage proposal of about €35m (£29.6m) net, including bonuses, on a two-year contract with an option for a further season. Negotiations on issues such as taxes and sponsors took much of the time. The need to factor in financial fair play rules was discussed but PSG were always confident on that front. Messi’s deal, like Neymar’s, has a clause that guarantees him a bonus if PSG win the Champions League.

On Saturday a verbal agreement was reached and PSG prepared a formal contract with their legal team. This was sent to Messi at 10am on Sunday, not long before his tearful farewell press conference at Barcelona. Although Messi denied there that a deal with PSG was done, in reality it was all but sorted.


Messi’s lawyers wanted two days to check every detail and rumours that the player was flying to Paris were at that stage false. By Monday night, though, everything was in place and final agreement was confirmed at about 10am on Tuesday morning. A short while later Messi and his family set off for Barcelona airport.

In the PSG dressing room celebrations at Messi joining had started as early as Friday. That was because Neymar had confidently told the squad his former Barcelona teammate would be coming. From Thursday night Neymar had acted almost like a member of the PSG board, calling and messaging Messi and pushing him to make the move.


Messi was certainly tempted by the opportunity to play again with his good friend but there is no question Barcelona had been his first choice. In the last week of April Messi had, through his father, turned down an approach from PSG, determined to stay at the only club he has really known.

The previous month Manchester City had made an approach via Pep Guardiola and club executives who also have a background at Barcelona. Messi had given the same response: he was continuing at the Camp Nou.


This time City have not made a move for Messi. Guardiola is happy with Jack Grealish as the new No 10 and is looking at Tottenham’s Harry Kane as his priority if one more big attacking signing can be made. With Chelsea focused on getting Romelu Lukaku from Internazionale they too stayed away from talks with Messi.

Less than a week ago PSG had no chance of signing Messi. But it often pays to expect the unexpected when it comes to transfers and so a seemingly impossible deal has been done.

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On 10/08/2021 at 18:44, compo said:

So how does this sit with these financial fair play  rules or does that just effect wee diddy clubs ,.

How can PSG comply with the FFP rules after signing Lionel Messi? They do not need to

French club’s Messi deal proves that FFP rules across Europe are no longer fit for purpose

Martyn Ziegler

Chief Sports Reporter

Wednesday August 11 2021, 5.00pm, The Times




Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules were already teetering on the brink of a precipice before Paris Saint-Germain’s signing of Lionel Messi: his arrival has just pushed them over the edge.

The reality now, and one that applies as much to Manchester City and Manchester United after their expensive forays into the transfer market as to PSG, is that the FFP rules in their old form are now dead, killed off by the pandemic.


Uefa is looking at a new financial regulation system — a luxury tax to take a percentage of the top transfers and wages is one suggestion — but just about everybody in European football accepts that there can be no return to the basics of the old system.

The original rules required clubs in European competition to break even, with maximum losses of €30 million (about £25.5 million) over a three-year period. City, PSG and AC Milan are among the top clubs to have fallen foul of those rules in the past.

The financial impact of the pandemic prompted an emergency rethink. Uefa said that figures would be calculated over two seasons instead of one, that pandemic-related losses would not be taken into account and that wealthy owners could inject capital to cover any losses — music to the ears of PSG and City especially, given that they are in effect owned by the oil-rich states of Qatar and Abu Dhabi respectively.

Under the old rules, PSG would probably have struggled to comply, even though the huge transfer fees paid for Neymar and Kylian Mbappé would no longer be on the books.


PSG’s turnover for 2019-20 was €541 million and their wage bill was €405 million, according to a KPMG report. Messi’s €25 million signing-on fee and annual gross salary of €63 million will take the club close to the €500 million mark — and that is before the signing-on fees and large salaries paid for three free transfers: Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma. The much-admired Italy goalkeeper is a client of the agent Mino Raiola, who does nothing on the cheap.

The club have also signed Achraf Hakimi for €60 million from Inter Milan but in terms of income from sales there has been nothing significant. The lucrative Qatar Tourism Authority sponsorship deal has expired too, while the French domestic TV deal has collapsed, which again will be a blow to PSG’s income.

It would be no surprise if, when the 2021-22 season’s figures are calculated, PSG’s salary costs are 100 per cent or more of their total turnover. That would not be permitted in some European leagues, but a 70 per cent restriction in France’s Ligue 1 has been postponed for two years, until 2023-24, because of the pandemic.


As to the future Uefa rules, things have gone quiet since April when, speaking at a meeting with European Union officials, Uefa’s director of financial stability and research, Andrea Traverso, described the old break-even requirement as purposeless.

He said then: “The break-even rule, the way it works now, looks backwards: it performs an assessment of a situation in the past. The pandemic represents such an abrupt change that looking to the past is becoming purposeless.

“So maybe the rules should have a stronger focus on the present and the future and should definitely have a stronger focus on the challenges of high levels of wages and the transfer market. The solution to this is not easy.”

Uefa’s more immediate focus has been dealing with the threat of the European Super League.

Now it can turn again to its financial regulation plans.


A key figure in the negotiations will be the man who became chairman of the European Club Association after the fallout from the Super League, having chosen not to join the breakaway rebels. He is also a member of Uefa’s executive committee and runs an international media group that has an important tranche of Uefa’s Champions League TV rights.

His name? Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of PSG.


Elsewhere, the idea that PSG will “get their Messi money back in shirt sales in six months”, as one British TV personality tweeted, is little more than a myth. Most of the money from the sale of replica strips goes into the coffers of the manufacturers rather than the clubs.

Messi shirts will be in hot demand but the idea that proceeds will cover much of his €25m signing-on fee is baseless


PSG have a kit deal with Nike worth €80 million (£67m) a year and runs until 2032. The deal is understood to give the club a 15 per cent cut of income from shirt sales, so even if PSG sold a million Messi shirts at €100 each, then their income would be only €15m — not enough to cover his €25m signing-on fee, let alone his €35m salary.


There are, however, some wider financial and political benefits to signing Messi. Perhaps the most important factor is that it represents the final stage in Qatar’s ten-year plan to establish PSG on the global stage. Paris, rather than Madrid or Barcelona, is now the first-choice destination for this generation of galacticos.

That shift is also reflected on social media. In China, 3.5 million people on Weibo, its version of Twitter, and 2.5million on Douyin (China’s TikTok) watched Messi’s first press conference. That kind of reach in China is gold dust to the marketeers, so Messi’s signing will have a huge positive effect on PSG’s sponsorship value: expect to see a rash of lucrative new deals.


Messi’s other value is to Qatar itself. Little more than a year before the Gulf state holds the World Cup, it has the globe’s most famous player at the club it owns: do not be surprised to see Messi used in an ambassadorial role of some kind.


Messi’s annual earnings
The Argentinian’s contract is worth £54m a year for two years, with an option of a third year, plus a signing-on fee of £21m. His endorsement deals earn him £24m a year, and have included:

• A lifetime contract with Adidas, believed to be worth £9m a year

• His retail outlet, the Messi Store, which opened in Barcelona in 2019

• A deal with drinks manufacturer AB InBev, which brews Budweiser. He also appears in adverts for Pepsi

• He is the first athlete to partner with the Hard Rock entertainment, restaurant and hospitality brand

• Wristwatch retailer Jacob & Co produce a Messi range

• He has been a brand ambassador for Qatari telecommunications firm Ooredoo since 2013


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Barcelona owe Messi 63.5 million euros for non-payment of his contract this year




Barcelona's dire financial state has been much discussed, but it is worse than first thought, as the club have not paid their first-team players their entire salaries.

It is worth remembering that Blaugrana have a debt of 1.173 billion euros, of which 730 million euros is short-term debt.

Cadena COPE reported that the club owe part of the players' salaries, and one of those is Lionel Messi. Barcelona should have paid him 72 million euros before the end of January, yet only 8.5 million euros has been paid, meaning the club owe him 63.5 million euros across salary and image rights.

A few weeks ago, the Barcelona squad reached an agreement to defer part of this season's earnings over the next few years. This saved the club 172 million euros.

In fact, this agreement affected all of the players in the squad, including Messi. The four it did not affect are those that recently penned a new contract: Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong.

Just a few days ago, it also emerged that the club had failed to pay money owed to B team players, which was eventually paid.

All of this is happening in the midst of a leak that has exposed the contract Messi has at Barcelona, with El Mundo showing that he put pen to paper on a deal worth 555,237,619 euros over the course of four seasons.


Marca English

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