FC Barcelona’s effort to offer star player Lionel Messi a contract extension is hindered by spending caps imposed by La Liga, says club chief executive Oscar Grau.
La Liga has budgetary limits agreement with each club at the start of every season and its regulations ensure its clubs only spend a certain proportion of their budget on wages.
For this season, Barca’s budget is €695m. They pay the highest wages in Spain and the second-highest in world football behind Manchester United.
Messi currently earns a reported €22m (£19m) a year after tax from Barça, whereas his fellow forwards, Neymar’s and Luis Suarez’s salaries are believed to be about €25m after their latest contract renewals.
“Barcelona has to analyse this situation with a cold head and common sense,” Grau said on Wednesday. “Barca can’t exceed 70% of its budget on wages and therefore we have to make the numbers add up.”
“One option is to increase our revenues, as our economic strategy forecasts. We want to have the best players around, but perhaps we have to prioritise.”
“The club wants the best player in the world to stay at Barça. I would like to ease the concerns of club members and supporters but we have to use common sense.”
Grau also said that any new deal for Barcelona’s all-time top scorer would put considerable pressure on the club’s finances. He hinted that Barcelona may need to raise funds by selling players, as well as strengthening the club’s commercial income.
The Argentinian’s contract is set to expire on 30 June 2018, leaving Barcelona with 18 months to do something until he would be able leave the club for free.