Never a dull day at Barcelona. An already bad summer appears to only be getting worse.
After losing Neymar to PSG, the club found themselves with a sizable amount of money. Since then, they’ve bought Paulinho, had multiple bids for Coutinho rejected by Liverpool, lost the Super Cup to Real Madrid, and had their new general manager, Pep Segura, publicly blame a player for said loss.
The latest drama, once again, has to do with Neymar. Only this time it involves more than just one player.
In a recent interview, Neymar spoke out against the Barcelona board. Many attributed it to Neymar being upset at the club for refusing to pay his €26 million loyalty clause.
However, news broke yesterday that Barcelona was going to sue Neymar for breach of contract.
In an official statement, Barcelona state, “The club demands the player return the already paid sum for his contract renewal because he has not fulfilled his contract; €8.5m in damages; and an additional 10 percent in interest.”
Where this story takes a twist is that on the same day the lawsuit is announced, Neymar reunites with some of his old teammates.
Players like Messi, Suarez, Pique, and Rakitic all post pictures on their Instagram accounts with Neymar. Messi even poked fun at Pique by captioning one of his posts with “he came back.”
It’s quite telling that hours after the club announces their lawsuit against Neymar, current players are taking picture with him and are genuinely happy to see him again. Ever more telling is it’s their high-profile players like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique.
One can interpret this as Barcelona players “drawing a line in the sand” and taking Neymar’s side in the dispute.
Apparently, the Barcelona board were one of those who saw it that way.
In a report by Cadena Ser, they claim that the board found the players’ actions as “intolerable.” They were not happy that the players took pictures with Neymar.
In the same article, they claim that some of the other board members advised Bartomeu to stamp his authority and crack down on the “childish actions” done by the players.
In addition, certain Barcelona players are also fed up with the type of signings the team is making and attributing the blame to sporting director, Robert Fernandez. He is also seen as one of the reasons as to why Lionel Messi has yet to sign a new contract.
The rift between players and board is evidently apparent. It’s obvious that the players sympathize with Neymar over the board. With the ever-growing disapproval of Bartomeu and his men, it will be interesting to see how they handle the lawsuit and if there will indeed be any consequences for the players who took pictures with Neymar.