The contract that turned

He signed it in 2018, a month after Messi agreed to the biggest in history. In 2020 he prolongs it and differs amounts. Include a “tax bonus” for Treasury sanctions


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In January 2018, Gerard Pique signed the biggest contract of his career with the Barcelona, months before his relationship with the Barça club expired. It was a month after Leo Messi signed with the Barça club the greatest in the history of football. The footballer was guaranteed 142 million euros gross during the five seasons of validity, since it applied to the current one (2017/18) until 2021-22, according to the contract ready for signature that the club sends him a month before its renewal is made public, the December 15, 2017. This gives a figure of 28.4 million gross per seasonwhich could increase if some bonuses related to objectives are met.

When Piqu addressed Joseph Maria Bartomeu to talk about the conditions, he told him that he wanted to be the best paid center back in the world and earn more than Sergio Ramos, according to sources close to the negotiation. With this contract he achieved it, since the madridista reached in the white club the 12.5 million net. The azulgrana was, after taxes, around the fifteen.

The economic conditions of the employment contract are reflected in the fourth section, referring to “remuneration”. They established that Piqu entered 13,600,000 euros gross as annual fixed salary. In another contract, the part of the income for image rights, given that the law allows players to enter 15% of their income in their clubs for that concept, with a lower tax burden. Next, the employment contract details numerous bonuses linked to the achievement of objectives, in a structure similar to Messi’s contract, in addition to others for special prizes and fidelity.

When reaching point 4.6, however, the document is clear: “FC Barcelona guarantees that during the term of this contract, the player will receive a minimum of 107,213,050 euroscomputing for such purposes the amounts paid by the club under the concepts established in 4.1 (with the exception of the special prize in article 4.19 and the extraordinary bonus in section 4.1.10)”. awards they were conditional on the footballer appearing linked to the club until June 30 of the last season, that is, the current one, and having achieved the aforementioned merits.

In point 4.1.9 it is stated: “In addition to the amounts indicated above, the player will receive a special prize of 15,446,036 euros 50%, that is, 7,723,018 euros, must be payable on June 30, 2018, and the other 50% on June 30, 2019″. In 4.1.10, “an extraordinary bonus of 7,414 .186 euros, which will be payable on January 31, 2018. On the other hand, the image contract foresees an income for the footballer of €2,400,000 for each of the five seasons. That is, 12 million in total. The sum of the guaranteed amount, in which it is understood that a loyalty bonus would be included, plus the “special prize”, the “extraordinary bonus” and the income per image gives a total amount of 142,073,272 million. That is, 28.4 per exercise.

That contract was forwarded after negotiations by Angel Rocamorafrom Barcelona, ​​to Arthur Canals, player’s agent, on December 15, 2017, by mail with the following words: “Here is the signable version of the two contracts.” On the 18th of the following month, after Christmas, its renewal was announced. If there was any last-minute change made by Piqu’s advisers, it could only benefit the footballer.

“tax bonus”

In calculating emoluments, the club included what it calls “tax bonus“to compensate the records that the Treasury had drawn up on the footballer for a VAT claim and that, grossed up, amounted to 7.1 million. “As for the tax bonus, I have divided it between the image and work (referred to contracts). I have taken the firm amounts and the agreement of the unpaid invoices of 2016, raised to the gross of 10.89%. I think the criterion is defensible,” explains Ángel Rocamora to the club’s legal services.

The arrival of the pandemicthree years later, would cause cuts and changes in the contract, extended before its completion with other conditions. On the one hand, Piqu, like the rest of the squad, agreed to specific salary cuts with the board in June 2020. As Leo Messi himself announced, up to a 70% of fixed salary during the state of alarm decreed by the Government, after a controversy between the board and the staff, and after the club’s employees suffered an ERTE.

Extension and deferral of amounts

The devastating effects of the pandemic, however, made the cuts insufficient for a club that lives on the economic limit, due to the skyrocketing salary mass of its squad. The problem was not only Messi’s salary, but everyone’s. In October 2020, a week before Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned, several players agreed to negotiate his conditions, including piquein addition to Ter Stegen, lenglet either Frankie de Jong. In reality, these were contract extensions in exchange for defer amounts to cushion exercises hardest hit by the pandemic. According to that agreement and the documentation to which EL MUNDO has had access, the amounts agreed in subsequent years with Piqu were 18 million gross in the 2020/21 season, 27.7 in 2021/22, 29.50 in 2022/23 and 40.80 in the last one, 2023/24. The sum of the amounts yields even higher sums, although everything indicates that they would be based on the bonuses, adjustments and deferrals.

With the arrival of Joan Laporta, Barcelona has renegotiated with the squad for salary purposes, so these amounts may have been modified. The center-back’s salary has been a source of controversy, in which Piqu himself participated by publishing in a tweet a seat of a six-monthly income of 2.3 million euros, in January 2022. It was the second season after the extension of his contract and the deferral of amounts, and it will only be an income without reference to other types of bonuses or prizes.


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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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