Barca 'must pay Messi £33m in LOYALTY BONUSES' despite switching to PSG

Barca 'must pay Messi £33m in LOYALTY BONUSES' despite switching to PSG

Lionel Messi's shadow looms over Barcelona figuratively and financially, with the cash-strapped Spanish club still required to pay the Argentine £33million in loyalty bonuses - despite his move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 34-year-old bid an emotional farewell to Catalonia last week, with the LaLiga giants financially unable to re-sign Messi having agreed terms over a two-year deal to remain at the Nou Camp.

In a whirlwind few days, Messi has now completed a move to PSG, with the French club agreeing to pay the Argentine £1m-per-week to join Mauricio Pochettino's star-studded squad.

And despite offloading the financial burden that is Messi's wage, Barcelona still have to cough up £33m in loyalty bonuses to their former star, according to El Mundo.

Messi's former deal at Barcelona, worth a whopping £492m, included a loyalty bonus for the star man worth £66m. He received half of that figure in February, with the remaining £33m due this summer.

This latest development further adds to Barca's financial woes, with president Joan Laporta ruing the 'criminal' acts of his predecessor, Josep Bartomeu, in allowing the club's finances to run out of control.

'The base of everything is the previous administration's disastrous management which we inherited,' he said in explaining Messi's departure last week.

'Some decisions might even have been criminal. I'm not talking about signings. Some are hard to understand. They must have been under pressure but it led to this situation now.'

Barcelona received the results of their first audit in the past few weeks, which revealed a worse financial situation that had been envisaged, according to Laporta. The club now expect losses of over €400m (£339m) for last season, more than double their initial projections.

Messi revealed that it was his intention to stay at Barcelona, during an emotional press conference on Sunday. 'I'm really sad because I didn't want to leave this club,' he said. 'I love Barcelona and I wanted to stay, my contract was ready.'

'I did everything in my possibility to stay.'
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