Loyalty bonus explained: how it works, Messi's and Neymar's cases & more

Loyalty bonus explained: how it works, Messi's and Neymar's cases & more
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Messi's loyalty bonus looks big but some players collected it for doing nothing.

El Mundo dropped a real bombshell on Sunday, revealing the exact details of Leo Messi's contract, including the €39m loyalty bonus to be paid this summer even if the Argentine leaves.

Tribuna.com explain why in reality, there's nothing shocking about it.

What's a loyalty bonus?

A loyalty bonus is a sum given to a player as a sign of gratitude for his long-time services. Its total amount is stipulated in the contract at the time it's being negotiated.

The sum is often paid in instalments over the duration of a deal as both parties see fit. This may be viewed as an extra incentive for an employee to stay in his job.

How does it work in Messi's case?

In Leo's case, it's the total sum of €80m split into 2 parts and the second payment worth €39m is due to arrive this summer when the contract expires.

However, a player appears to be no longer entitled to the loyalty bonus if the contract is terminated unilaterally - we'll give an example later in our analysis.

Any other Barca players who had - or still have - the loyalty bonus in their contracts?

Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are the current Barca stars with the loyalty bonuses stipulated in their deals.

Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez also had the same loyalty clauses.

We don't know the exact sums but Madrid-based Marca stated that Suarez was paid €6m as a loyalty bonus when he left for Atletico Madrid last year. But it's Marca, take it with a grain of salt.

As for Carles Puyol, he reportedly rejected the bonus when he left in 2014.

Wasn't Neymar suing Barca over the loyalty bonus?

Neymar took Barca to court over the unpaid bonus straight after he joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 - and the legal case had been dragging on until June 2020.

In 2016, Neymar signed a new deal with Barca which included the €40m loyalty bonus.

Before the PSG move, the Brazilian received €14m out of this sum. So after the transfer, he sued his former club over the unpaid €26m.

Barca responded that Neymar breached the contract unilaterally and therefore wasn't entitled to the bonus.

Eventually, the court decided in Barcelona's favour and the club owe nothing to Neymar now.

Is Barca the only club giving this bonus to players?

Not at all. In fact, there are plainly comical cases when a player was due the bonus.

Alexis Sanchez reportedly received £1.1m from Man United after... spending a year on loan at Inter Milan. Or take Mesut Ozil who was apparently paid £8m by Arsenal last September despite being completely frozen out.

Goal claimed in 2015, Iker Casillas was refusing to ask for a transfer as it would've meant missing out on the £10m loyalty bonus.

So, people can debate whether Messi deserves this money or not, at least he does contribute on the pitch and works his socks off for these sums.

Source: Tribuna.com

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