Barcelona fans seek legal action against Lionel Messi’s move to Paris
As Lionel Messi prepares for a move to Paris Saint-Germain, lawyers claim the move would breach EU state aid laws.
Throughout his illustrious career, Lionel Messi has become an iconic figure in the world of football, a man whose impressive skills and foot flourishes bewitch even those who desecrate football itself. Known simply by his last name, Messi has continued to defy all expectations and to see him step out onto the pitch is to recognize that you are witnessing a rare caliber of athlete. But with Barcelona fans now bracing for the reality of his impending move to Paris Saint-Germain, it’s fair to say none are happy with the move, with some even threatening to take legal action.
While the prospect of athlete transfers is nothing new, it seems the blow of losing Messi to another team is too much for some to bear, as it has been reported that a small group of fans Barcelona was quietly starting legal proceedings. If successful, it could just lead to significant change in European football, a game that sees transfers happen very frequently.
In the summer of 2021, Messi joined PSG with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner leaving on a free transfer, with an agreed deal that would cost £94m (around AUD168m) over three years. For Barcelona fans, this transfer should never have happened as it distorted the competitive environment of continental football.
Lawyers have since been called, arguing before a senior judge at the European Court of Justice that Messi’s move from Catalonia to Paris breached EU state aid laws. They are now asking the European Commission to investigate the transfer. According to reports, the session in Luxembourg lasted three hours before Judge Marc Jaeger, the former president of the court. A verdict is now expected to be delivered within two months.
What is most interesting about this case is not only that Barcelona supporters are asking the European Commission to investigate the deal, but are also seeking to keep the world of football finance away from the closed doors of the game’s governing bodies and in the light. that is, the European legislators for the first time in history.
If successful, the complaint lodged by the group of supporters would see the court’s initial decision overturned and the commission responsible for “ordering the French Football Federation to immediately cease any…distortion of competition and to bring itself into compliance with UEFA club licensing and financial fair play rules. He also asks the committee to take legal action against the French government, for “illegal state aid to PSG and French football clubs in national and European competitions”.
PSG insisted signing Messi did not break FFP rules, a source from the organization said: “There is nothing to comment on – PSG are not even a party to the case.” Even so, it presents an interesting moment in international sport and while many seem to think the fan claim seems unlikely to succeed, it could certainly have wider implications for clubs and transfers going forward.