BRASSIC Barcelona reportedly missed out on a £50MILLION-a-year sponsorship deal after Lionel Messi left for Paris Saint Germain.
The cash-strapped Catalans received two bumper bids in excess of £50m to replace Rakuten as their shirt sponsor but the legendary Argentine's departure signalled the end of their preferred option.
A cryptocurrency exchange company offered £60m plus a 20 per cent performance related bonus, according to Spanish outlet AS.
And an Indian firm dedicated to 'online education' are said to have bid £50m plus a 15 per cent bonus.
Barca chiefs rejected the crypto offer given the 'controversial' nature of the industry, but club president Joan Laporta was eager to proceed with the Indian bid.
The deal was set to include collaborations with Barcelona's famous La Masia academy teams as well as the club's Innovation Hub.
Barca big-wigs had successfully negotiated the fee from around £40m up to £50mbut some execs wanted another £10m before they would agree the deal.
But that move was foolish as talks were postponed in May with the company refusing to budge.
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The deal was still on the table for most of the summer until the bombshell dropped and the world learned Messi was leaving his beloved Barca after 21 years.
And it was at this stage, the Indian company pulled out – never to return.
Laporta is said to have reacted 'desperately' and held a video meeting with the firm but there was 'no turning back'.
It came as a huge blow to the Nou Camp outfit for who the loss of Messi was already set to have huge financial ramifications.
Although the deal would have got nowhere near clearing their debts which are in excess of £1BILLION, it was almost double the £30m-a-season contract they have with Rakuten until June 2022.
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Their dire financial situation has had consequences on the pitch already with the side sitting ninth in LaLiga.
They are second in Champions League Group E but qualification is by no means guaranteed with Benfica breathing down their necks in third – just two points behind them.
Former Everton boss Ronald Koeman was recently sacked as manager and the Dutchman has been replaced by club legend Xavi.
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