06
May
2014

FC Barcelona: The Necessary Renovation

The following article is fictional, and you have been warned.

It is not the end of the season yet, and nothing has been decided too, but since Barcelona is among the biggest clubs worldwide, everyone has a rumor to share.

The whole story stated with the appointment of Tata Martino. Since day one, the Argentinean coach has been caught up with uncomfortable situations, times, decisions, fights, and management issues. He was not brought to manage the club but was assigned to become the scapegoat of a history of troubles at Camp Nou.

Whether Tata stays or leaves an overhaul is needed and is happening soon.

The main story and the core of the change is the one and only Lionel Messi. The Argentine ‘wannabe’ legend is unsettled and is keeping everyone eagerly waiting his next decision. In a nutshell, it is all about money. He wants an enhanced contract that would confirm his status as the highest paid figure in the industry of football. Negotiations with Barcelona are ongoing for a seventh renewal of his contract, while his father and business manager are conducting behind the scenes meetings with the richest club owners in the world. The current renewal negotiations of his contract dictate a 20 million dollar yearly salary until the year 2019. Looking back at the history of Messi’s contract we find out that it started in the year 2005 with the first version. Three months down the line and after his great performance against Juventus, Messi’s contract was enhanced and tied up. In January 2007 it was renewed until 2014 with a buyout clause of 150 million euros. In 2008 a salary enhancement was imposed where he started earning 8.5 million euros a year. In September 2009 the contract was extended to 2016 with a yearly salary of 11 million euros and a buyout clause of 250 millions. Last but not least, and in February 2013, it was amended to include an extension until 2016 and a yearly earning of 16 million euros.

As for the other players, there are several names who showed interest in joining the club and many who were rumored to be on the wish list of the current management – that is if Zubizarreta and Bartomeu stayed.

The list includes every good performing defender around the world and any promising talent that was highlighted throughout this season by any media agency or delusional source.

As to the ones who are to be offloaded, there are three types of those. First there are the expired ones like Puyol, Valdes and Pinto. Second, there are the unneeded like Dos Santos, Afellay, Oier Olazabal, Cuenca, Sergi Roberto and Tello. Third, there are the freeloaders who need to move on with their careers away from the club and the list is long. It includes Mascherano, Song, Alexis, Adriano, Alves, Cesc, and to an extent Pedro.

Moving on to the manager and the coaching staff, Tata might be leaving because he cannot manage the dark side of the Catalan club. Luis Enrique is already meeting his ex-teammates and is showing willingness to guide the wandering ship back on the right track, with Puyol as his assistant.

The Good Old Days
The Good Old Days

Finally, a couple of confirmed names are joining. Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Alen Halilovic both have preliminary agreements with the clubs and will be the first to feature as the new faces for a new era at Camp Nou.

The moral of the stories around Barcelona and the changes needed is that change is needed. Many may leave and others will stay.

The real stuff can be summed up by:

  • Tata should stay but should also be given the freedom he needs; or
  • A manager with a strong personality should be hired instead, to deploy new tactics rather than getting enslaved to the current system
  • Messi should grow up or leave
  • Defenders should be bought, Xavi’s heirs should be hired, and real strikers should be signed
  • Zubizarreta and Bartomeu are the source of too much evil and Laporta may be the right man to replace them

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