No sooner has the dust settled and Lionel Messi reluctantly agreed that he must stay at Barcelona and see out the remaining year of his contract, then comes news that the club want him to accept a pay cut into the bargain.
The Argentine has just been named in a Forbes list as the highest paid footballer in the world with annual earnings of US $126 million (97.2 million), ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo who earns US $117 million (90.3 million).
By no means all of that money comes from what he earns on the pitch he also has a number of highly lucrative sponsorship deals in place. Nevertheless, he is estimated to earn close to US $1.1 million a week with the Catalans.
The man who is tasked with getting to accept a pay cut is Josep Maria Bartomeu, and there is no love lost between the pair. Messi believes that Bartomeu broke his word in the summer, having made a verbal agreement that he could leave, only for then to renege on that by insisting that a clause in his contract, which would appear to allow it, had expired.
Messi has also blamed Bartomeu publicly for the predicament that the club now finds itself in and has described his tenure as a disaster.
Barcelona though find themselves in a dire financial situation. Their accounts for the 2019 2020 season have just been published, and they do not pretty reading, with losses of more than 90 million.
And, although they are desperately trying to raise funds by selling players, the need to trim the wage bill is self-evident.
Therefore, they have decided to start with their captain and highest earner, hoping that if Messi agrees to a wage reduction, then the rest of the playing squad will follow suit.
Whether Messi will be amenable to the suggestion, especially if it comes from Bartomeu, is debatable. In staying with Barcelona, he was forced to turn down a five-year deal with the City Football group that would have earned him even more money than he gets now.
He has been forced to stay at Barcelona against his will. Whether he is ready to stomach a pay cut on top of that is open to question.