Barcelonaare in line to lose serious money following on from the shock departure of record goalscorer and talisman Lionel Messi.
Although Messi agreed to a 50 per cent pay cut, the club were unable to register his new contract and he now looks set to sign for Paris Saint-Germain on an initial two-year deal.
Barca are in a dire financial situation and the loss of their captain, with his incredible global appeal, is set to hit them hard off the pitch as well as on it.
According toBrand Finance, Messi’s departure could end up costing the Blaugrana a whopping €137 million in brand value – suggesting that maybe some players are bigger than the club after all.
They estimate a loss of €17 million on matchdays because it’s quite clear that Messi has been Barca’s star attraction for years and had supporters piling into the Nou Camp just to see him strut his stuff.
Then there’s the merchandise factor. It’s common knowledge that Messi has been responsible for the bulk of Barcelona’s shirt sales and without him, it’s anticipate they will lose out on a whopping €43 million.
That loss will of course be PSG’s gain. The French giants, who are poised to give Messi the No.19, will no doubt be expecting shirt sales to go through the roof once they land the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Meanwhile, commercial and sponsorship opportunities with Barca do not look as worthwhile as a result of Messi moving on – with the club potentially looking at losing €77 million in business revenue.
“Messi is synonymous with the Barcelona brand and has been the club’s talisman since bursting onto the scene 15 years ago,” Hugo Hensley, Head of Sports Services at Brand Finance, said.
“His presence at the club has no doubt allowed it to attract additional fans, better players, managers, commercial deals, and win silverware. His departure can cost the club as much and result in a painful brand value decrease.”
Real Madrid’s brand value dropped by 18% when they sold Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018, while Juventus saw record-breaking figures in a number of different departments following the £99 million deal.