Former FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has responded to reports that he played a part in Lionel Messi's contract getting leaked.
Spanish publication El Mundo made headlines on the weekend after publishing copies of documents understood to be the Argentine's latest four-year contract that was signed in 2017.
The club and Messi are reportedly taking legal action against the newspaper for leaking the documents, which showed how much he would make over the four seasons, as well as the loyalty bonus he received, among other things.
Bartomeu, who resigned from his post in October 2020 after reported pressure following Messi's request to leave the Camp Nou, has now insisted he was not involved in leaking the documents.
"It's completely false (that I was involved in the leak)," he told TV3, as per 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."
Check out the highest-paid players in football in 2020 below: