Catalan Police Find Ex-FC Barcelona Board Members Allegedly Behind Messi And Pique Contract Leaks

Catalan police claim to have found the two former members of FC Barcelona’s board responsible for leaking details of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique’s contracts.

As reported by Cadena SER, the Mossos d’Esquadra claim to have found evidence that former general director Oscar Grau and former head of legal services Roman Gomez Ponti, who both worked under the rule of ex-president Josep Bartomeu, were behind the leaks.

The police’s findings came from devices obtained during their ‘Barcagate’ investigation. From conversations that have been obtained, it can be deduced that there was a willing intention to reveal the details of the players’ contracts.

While leaking confidential details of the contracts is a crime, this act is not being investigated as part of the ‘Barcagate’ probe that threatens to put Bartomeu behind bars.

Cadena SER says the Mossos have prepared a report explaining the evidence that they have found and will present it to a judge that will decide whether to open another case or have it dealt with within the framework of ‘Barcagate’.

Messi’s contract was leaked in January 2021 and its alleged details were published by El Confidencial.

It showed Messi earning a maximum of €555,237,619 ($597mn) over four seasons, providing a series of conditions were met, and was then believed to be the highest-earning sports contract of all time.

The leak came around five months after Messi had requested Bartomeu make him a free agent following Barca’s 8-2 drubbing against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals in August 2020.

Bartomeu rejected the request, which was seen as an act of betrayal by Messi who eventually left Camp Nou in tears after Barca failed to navigate La Liga’s strict salary cap and offer him a new contract.

Messi joined Paris Saint Germain free of charge in the summer of 2021, and has now been overtaken by teammate Kylian Mbappe in boasting sport’s highest-paid contract after the Frenchman snubbed Real Madrid and renewed terms with the Qatari-backed giants last spring.

As for Pique, he forfeited around €20mn ($21.5mn) in owed wages when announcing his retirement in November 2022.