Messi family releases statement insisting exit clause still valid

Lionel Messi transfer
Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Lionel Messi transfer saga, part 764: Messi has continued his push to leave Barcelona by releasing a statement, attributed to his father Jorge, in which the Messi family insists the player’s unilateral exit clause remains valid and he intends to exercise said clause.

[ MORE: City Football Group offering Messi five-year, $830M package ]

In the statement, Jorge Messi reiterates his son’s desire to leave the club and their belief that the exit clause remains — or, at the very least, should remain — valid. In the statement, Jorge claims that Lionel has indeed triggered that clause in his contract and can leave for free.

[ MORE: Messi skips preseason; $833-million release clause must be paid ]

Also in the statement, the Messi family hits out at La Liga over the interpretation and application of the legal document — calling it a “clear error” — and pins the blame on the Spanish league for what is quickly becoming an ugly battle played out for the world to see.

The statement in full, as translated by the Guardian:

As the representative of professional football player Lionel Andres Messi and in response to the statement relating to the player’s contractual situation published by the Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional on August 30, 2020, Jorge Horacio Messi states that, quite apart from your obvious interest given the role that said institution [La Liga] has in the defense of its associates:

First, we do not know what contract you have analyzed and one what grounds you conclude that there is a rescission clause applicable in the case of him deciding to unilaterally end his contract from the end of the 2019-20 season.

Second, that doing so [reaching that conclusion] is founded upon a clear error on your part. As clause of the contract signed between the club and the player explicitly says: “This indemnity will not apply when the player’s decision to unilaterally rescind the contract is effective from the end of the 2019-2020 season.” [Signed] Jorge H. Messi.

[ MORE: No agreement in meeting between Barcelona and Messi’s father ]

For anyone who’s been living under a rock for the better part of the last month, the Lionel Messi transfer saga revolves around an exit clause which was meant to allow Messi to cancel the remainder of his contract and leave the club on a free transfer. That clause was reportedly scheduled, prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, to expire on May 30. The Messi camp’s official stance is that the expiration date should be extended to the end of the 2019-20 season, just as expiring player contracts were done in order to complete the season.

To steal a fantastic one-liner from PST’s Joe Prince-Wright, this whole thing is getting rather… well, Messi.