Barcelona have moved to nullify claims that a number of payments made to the Lionel Messi foundation was an affront to paying their megastar more money.

By 90Min
January 17, 2018

Barcelona have moved to nullify claims that a number of payments made to the Lionel Messi foundation was an affront to paying their megastar more money.

ESPN has reported that La Blaugrana are unhappy over allegations made against them that suggest payments made to the non-profit organization, between 2010 and 2013, were transferred to Messi as part of his salary.

German news publication Der Speigel has claimed to have seen internal documents from the club relating to millions of euros being paid to Messi's father - Jorge Messi - and the Argentine's charity during a 2016 audit of the Catalan giants' financial affairs.

However, a Barcelona spokesperson has moved to reject those claims and stated that all cash paid to the foundation was reserved for those in need.

The spokesperson said: "All of the money the club wired to Lionel Messi's foundation was for charitable purposes. The interpretations that Der Spiegel, other media or other people can make about these donations does not change this position at all. There will be no further comment on the issue."

Der Speigel's report alleges that a €12m payment was given to Messi in the shape of a loan and was used to pay off taxes that the 30-year-old had not stumped up.

The audit conduced 18 months ago came out as Messi and his father were the subject of €4.1m tax fraud case that argues the duo hid around €10m from Spain's tax office between 2007 and 2009.

That loan was not expected to be paid back by Messi to Barca too as Der Speigel broke down how the payment came to be.

Their report speculates: "The bonus they had agreed on, to be paid in the coming season in addition to Messi's salary, was €23.1m. 

"Of that, €9.6m was to pay back taxes on the consulting fees received by his father with €13m earmarked for the tax problems relating to his foundation. The net total of the bonus is roughly equal to the sum of the loan: €12m."

Messi was handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence after he was found guilty of that tax case, but was eventually find €2.255m instead after some negotiations with the relevant authorities.

 

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