Barcelona had arguably the greatest player ever for the vast majority of his career, delivering success that could previously only be dreamed of at Camp Nou, yet there were some that did not appreciate his contributions. More than that, some of those in charge were of the opinion that he was worthy of being called a sewer rat.
As the Catalan police, Mossos, investigate the Barcagate scandal, various details are being uncovered in the internal communications between former President Josep Maria Bartomeu, former CEO Oscar Grau and former Legal Chief Roman Gomez Ponti.
El Periodico (carried by Sport) published some of these messages, where various iconic Barcelona figures were insulted. Gomez Ponti was the worst offender, with this message being sent to Bartomeu about Messi.
“Barto, really, you can’t be such a good person with this sewer rat. The club has given him everything and he has dedicated himself to imposing a dictatorship of signings, transfers, renewals, patros (sponsors) just for him, etc. I will never be able to do it, but Pinto, the renewal of Suarez, and that of Jordi Alba, or the renewal commission for Fati (Rodrigo Messi, agent?) should be added to the figures of his contract? partner to a drug dealer). And above all the accumulation of blackmail and rudeness that the club and those of us who work have suffered from this hormonal dwarf who owes Barca his life… ah! But when things go wrong (pandemic) you receive the mythical WhatsApp: ‘President, lower the salaries of others, but don’t touch Luis and me.’ Hopefully he receives the indifference of the people, which is the worst thing that can happen to him (one more money-grabber).”
Bartomeu did defend Messi’s contract, highlighting that he was responsible for 15% of Barcelona’s entire budget. Although he was less sympathetic after the pandemic hit.
“Many times we have listened to Leo, not always, but many times, and this contract without a pandemic was totally acceptable.”
“It was correct taking into account everything that he generates.”
Even the likes of Sergio Busquets, arguably the most inoffensive of Barcelona’s golden generation, came in for some flack.
Busquets is “of those players who have no market and cannot be transferred (Busquets can be an excellent example), to fire them with minimal compensation and forget that they have gone through the club for being unsupportive.”
Meanwhile Gerard Pique is a much more controversial figure, but his farewell match still drew the highest attendance of the season at Camp Nou. After Barcelona lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich, Pique called for a change of leadership at the club, which provoked the following message from Gomez.
“You need to have few scruples and be a huge son of a whore.”
It seems that Gomez Ponti was also short of scruples in his professional dealings. While it was clear that Barcelona were broken behind the scenes for most of Bartomeu’s second term, the details emerging are increasingly gory.