Just a few days after his departure and with the La Liga not even underway, Barcelona are already feeling the consequences of Lionel Messi leaving.
The Argentine forward signed for Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday after his contract negotiations with Barca broke down.
The Catalan giants are in serious debt and needed a major clear out, but no one expected it to be academy product Messi that would be walking out the door.
Messi was close to agreeing on a deal with his boyhood club to renew his contract but they encountered several ‘financial and structural obstacles’, he even offered to take a 50% pay cut to stay but La Liga rules did not allow him to.
Of course, such a major loss will have a knock-on effect on the club’s finances, with shirt sales being one source of income that is expected to be reduced.
However, ticket sales have already taken a huge hit according to Diario AS.
The Spanish news outlet revealed that only 15,820 of Barcelona’s 83,000 season ticket holders requested tickets for their clash with Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Post-pandemic restrictions mean that the Nou Camp can only have an attendance of 29,803 in their La Liga opener, but they were not expecting some of those supporters to be non-season ticket holders.
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The lack of enthusiastic supporters is thought to be a result of Messi leaving, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner obviously being a major selling point for the side due to how he is one of the best of all time.
With the club in such a diabolical state, a reduction in ticket sales is only going to make matters worse and when the Nou Camp is allowed to be opened completely then the true effect of Mess’s departure will be seen.
Elsewhere, PSG are thriving now that they have the 34-year-old on their books.
In the seven minutes after his announcement, according to AS, the French giants sold over 150,000 shirts with ‘Messi 30’ printed on the back, it is thought that would have made the club €20m.
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