Barcelona denied liability for the document being leaked and said it would take legal action against the newspaper.
‘The club regrets its disclosure because it is a private document regulated by the principle of confidentiality between the parties,’ it said in a statement. “FC Barcelona will categorically deny any liability for the publication of this document and will take appropriate legal action against El Mundo newspaper for any damage that may result from the publication of this document.”
The club expressed its “absolute support for Lionel Messi, particularly in the face of any attempt to discredit his image and damage his relationship with the entity where he worked to become the world’s best player and in the history of football.”
Messi, who did not make any public remarks immediately about the article, scored a goal in the team’s 2-1 win against Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish League later on Sunday. For the first time this season, the outcome pushed the Catalan club into the second position, although its gap to leader Atlético Madrid was 10 points.
Coach Ronald Koeman of Barcelona said, “We have to try to find out how this got to the press.” “If this is leaked by someone from the club, that person can’t have a future with this club.”
As Barcelona tries to handle a huge debt generated mostly due to the coronavirus pandemic, the leak comes. Since president Josep Bartomeu resigned in October when facing a no-confidence vote, the club has been headed by a caretaker board. On March 7, new presidential elections are scheduled.
Koeman said, “I do not understand how you can associate Messi with Barcelona’s problems. For many years, he has been demonstrating his quality as a player and has helped make this club great.”
Over the years, the newspaper also outlined how Messi compensated the club, helping it win more than 30 championships.
Messi has been with Barcelona for nearly two decades, but after saying he was not pleased with the path the club was going, he asked to leave at the end of last season. His application was rejected, but when this season finishes, he will be able to leave for free.