Barcelona, Leeann L, Soccer discussed on ESPN Daily
That is the sound of the barcelona. Faithful saluting their idol. Not after a game but after a press conference yesterday leeann l. messy the man many consider the single greatest soccer player of all time has declared that he is leaving the only club. He has ever know f c barcelona so today we examined a split. That is as stunning as it is mysterious because seemingly no one not the fans not the club and not messy even wanted him to leave. I'm pablo torre. it's monday august ninth. This is espn daily. So gabon coty. How long have you covered messy at barcelona or you're you're you're trying to date me now. Gab marcatti covers soccer. Espn from london and he also co hosts the gab in jewel show podcast but yes i was already professional journalist when now messy not just when. He made his debut for barcelona but when he left. Rosario tina twenty one years ago in fact it's gonna be twenty when you would have been twenty one years next month in september for barcelona and people are talking about him already and feel yesterday. Gab i mean what was so striking about what we saw at this press conference that he gave it was the emotion it felt like it was the most popular athlete on the arguably. Maybe the greatest soccer player of all time leo messi confirming that. He's leaving barcelona the club. He's been a part of whereas you say twenty one years since he was just thirteen years old and he was crying he was tearful throughout the and he said quote. This is very hard for me after so many years after being here my entire life. I wasn't prepared and gab. Given your knowledge of this man what was it like for you to watch that presser. So it's hard to divorce for me to divorce messy speaking from the larger story behind it and you know the thing about messy is. He has a very specific personality. This is a guy who who almost never talks. He's somebody who's been an art form of being shy. And is the sports boucher goes. He's a leader on the pitch. He's alpha that way not the other way. Whatever but you know. He is capable all these moments of motion. This is your and that was certainly very touching to me and my first thought went to an ira. This in my column was is your something truly messed up here. Being the world of sports square club really wanna keep him or they say they do messy really wants to stay. He says he does and the league. Which is you know who the salary cap which is supposedly the reason. They can't afford them. The league wants to stay because the league is less valuable especially now that they're trying to solve chunk of it to a private equity firm so veils elites in their interest room to stay yet somehow. He's leaving it just. I still can't my head around. I'm still hoping even now as as we record this he's supposed to be doing his medicals in paris in the next twenty four hours. I still kind of assume that this is all just one big bluff. I cannot take this as real and yet everything points to the fact that it is so gab. I want to try and sort through. What happened here because just to recap for people here as you've been alluding to we knew messy was upset with barcelona's management. Last year. we know that he had talked about wanting to leave the club but that felt like it was in the rear view mirror and then a few weeks ago there were reports multiple reports that messy in barcelona had agreed to this new five year. Deal with the exact figures not disclosed. But we know the previous deal with barsa was worth just under six hundred million dollars over four years which is mind blowing in its own right so we can assume the new deal would have been similarly so so. Why did that deal. That was reported. What's your best sense as to why that fell through the previous included all sorts of signing bonuses and loyalty bonuses and whatnot so to make it simpler his basic salary salaries probably just under a hundred million dollars And he took he took he took rhode just put it in context so obviously barcelona were were you saying they were hit hard by the pandemic. They're also incredibly poorly managed. The highest Wage bill in in the sport and on top of that in spain. There's this thing they call a salary cap. Which isn't a salary cap as we understand it in the states it's basically the league puts a limit on how much you can spend on salaries and to acquire players and that limit is based is different. From every club it's based on their projected revenue. And you can spend a percentage of that. I mean that's sort of the rough outline so every team has a different salary cap number which is very different from how it is in american sports where every team is subject to the same bottom line number precisely. That's a key thing to understand it's not about creating parody like it might be in the. Us it is fundamentally about creating sustainability a barcelona. We're never going to be sustainable. Barcelona's barcelona were set to pay salaries. One hundred ten percent of the revenues that salaries alone. That's before you get into admin cost. Travel costs everything else that it takes to run a club so clearly they had to make very serious cuts now as you alluded to messy. Took messy agreed. This deal on principle volley was away. He was playing in the copa america with argentina whereby he took a fifty percent pay-cut roughly to just under fifty million dollars and then all of a sudden barcelona came out the other day three days ago and said a well even with cut that he took. We won't be able to register him. We are over the salary cap. Hold on here because that much. That does not make much sense to me again as an outside observer here because theoretically i would imagine. Barcelona had its own budget in front of itself they had all of its accounting arrayed in front of it and they knew all of the numbers better than anybody right..