Barcelona make desperate attempt to block Messi move to PSG
They've nothing to lose at this point
Lionel Messi bid a teary farewell to FC Barcelona this weekend after 21 years at the club. Despite agreeing to a 50 per cent pay cut - the biggest drop in wages that would have been legal - Barcelona were unable to retain the services of the greatest footballer of all time due to financial regulations imposed by La Liga.
The situation is a damning indictment on Barcelona's shambolic management at board level over the past seven years and modern football more broadly.
It now looks to be a matter of days before Messi is unveiled as a Paris Saint-Germain player, with the Parisians the only team in Europe with the financial might to be able to make a deal work after Manchester City signed Jack Grealish (and gave him the number 10 shirt) for £100m before the bombshell news of Messi's departure broke on Thursday evening.
Barcelona have seemingly not quite come to terms with the fact that their best ever player is leaving in this manner though. The club's lawyers have made a desperate last ditch attempt to block Messi's move to PSG, sending a letter to the European Court of Appeals, claiming that the French club's Financial Fair Play record is just as bad as theirs.
The letter, signed by Dr Juan Branco reads as follows:
"On behalf of FC Barcelona partners, my firm has prepared a complaint with the European Commission and demands for provisional suspension before civil and administrative courts in France to prevent Paris-Saint Germain from signing Lionel Messi.
"PSG's ratios in terms of "Financial Fair Play" are worse than those of FC Barcelona.
"In 2019-2020, PSG's salary-to-income ratio was 99%, while Barcelona's was 54%. Meanwhile, the difference has increased.
"It is inconceivable that the "Financial Fair Play" serves to aggravate the drifts of football-business, the instrumentalisation of football by sovereign powers, and the distortion of competitions.
"We ask the authorities to intervene immediately in order to block this operation which damages the patrimonial interests of the people we represent."
FFP regulations have been relaxed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to kickstart the footballing economy again, and PSG have taken full advantage of that this summer, bringing in a host of stars to bolster their squad, including Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos.
Whether this letter makes even a dent in PSG's pursuit of Messi remains to be seen but looks unlikely. Reports have surfaced claiming the Qatari-owned club will unveil Messi at the Eiffel Tower this week once he has signed the dotted line.