Former Blaugrana club supremo Bartomeu and his board resigned from their posts in October to avoid facing a vote of no confidence by the membership in their leadership of the club.
The exit of Bartomeu brought an end to a somewhat fractious with the star player with the Messi news last summer seeing the player launch a concentrated effort to leave the club, only for the board to block any potential exit.
However, the former president denied he played any part in the leaking of the contract.
“It’s completely false [that I was involved in the leak],” Bartomeu told TV3, in quotes carried by ESPN. “This is a very serious issue because it’s completely illegal to leak any professional contract to the media.
“It’s easy to make accusations, but this is not a joke and it’s going to end up in court. Messi deserves everything he earns, be that for professional or commercial reasons. Without the pandemic, Barcelona would be more than capable of paying those numbers.”
The news on Messi’s contract follows on from a report last month in El Mundo outlining the club’s alarming financial situation as they are now over €1billion in debt with €730m of that due in the short-term.
Whilst the club’s first-team squad has been slimmed down this year, with a reported €80m off the wage bill, there is still a worrying financial outlook for the club.