leak in the press of the contracts of Messi and Pique, insults … the Bartomeu clan in turmoil

leak in the press of the contracts of Messi and Pique, insults ... the Bartomeu clan in turmoil

According to Catalan outlet El Periodico, Spanish police have collected embarrassing email exchanges for Josep Maria Bartomeu and two of his former managers at Barca. The three men are suspected of having contributed to the leak in the press of the contats of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, but also of having insulted the two men in private conversations.

Barça still shaken by business. According to the revelations of El Periodico, the former president Josep Maria Barotmeu, his executive director Òscar Grau and the ex-legal director Román Gómez Ponti are suspected of having allowed the leak in the press of the contracts of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique in 2021 and 2022. Elements in this direction would have been obtained by the police of Catalonia which investigates the “Barçagate”, the name given to the suspicions of unfair management and corruption at FC Barcelona during the Bartomeu era.

An email from Román Gómez Ponti to Josep Maria Bartomeu is among the clues collected by the investigators. In this message dating from March 2020, the legal director would have recommended “radical measures” to reduce the club’s wage bill. “It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to publish the millionaire first-team contracts so people can repudiate them publicly,” he reportedly suggested.

In January 2021, the newspaper El Mundo published its front page with complete information on Lionel Messi’s 555 million euro contract “which ruined Barça”. The following year, Marca unveiled Gerard Pique’s compensation figures (109 million euros promised between 2017 and 2022). The people at the club involved in this leak could be prosecuted for “disclosure of secrets”.

Messi described as a ‘sewer rat’

El Periodico’s revelations, including screenshots, also relate to how Josep Maria Bartomeu’s bodyguard spoke privately about Lionel Messi and other squad executives. Speaking to his president in a WhatsApp conversation, Román Gómez Ponti reportedly called Lionel Messi a ‘sewage rat’ and a ‘hormonal dwarf who owes his life to Barça’.

Román Gómez Ponti is said to have written precisely this: “Barto, really, you can’t be a good person with this sewer rat. The club gave him everything and he devoted himself to a dictatorship of signings, transfers, renewals, [sponsors] just for him, etc. […] And above all, the accumulation of blackmail and rudeness that the club and those who work at the club have suffered from this hormonal dwarf who owes his life to Barça… ah! But when things are going badly (pandemic), we receive the mythical: “Presi, lower the salaries of others, but don’t touch me and Luis [Suarez]”. I hope he leaves in the indifference of the people, which is the worst thing that can happen to him.”

Gerard Pique wouldn’t have been spared either. His outing on the changes needed at the club after the 8-2 rout of Bayern Munich in the Champions League in Lisbon reportedly made the former legal director jump to these words: “You have to have few scruples and be a big son of p***”.