Pike sold the Spanish Super Cup to the sheikhs
Unlike Beckham, who was made a multimillionaire by his wife Victoria by building a whole public Hollywood image, in Gerard’s case, his wife Shakira does not have the same direct relationship to her husband’s financial affairs. The Barcelona defender loves money. Clearly lost interest in soccer, but actively plunged into capitalism. Fans well remember how exactly Pique’s company made a documentary for Griezmann, in which the Frenchman declared that he would not go to Barcelona and would stay at Atlético de Madrid.
It is also rumored that Pique was among those who advised Laporta to let Messi go all the way last summer to renew Barcelona’s financial independence. A new contract with Lionel could sink the club, and fan discontent could be endured. That said, Gerard convinced all the vice-captains to temporarily reduce their salaries, and did so himself. How successful is Pique as a businessman? It’s hard to say, he has an incredible number of companies – real estate, cybersports, food and drink, investment offices, sports tournaments like the Davis Cup.
Pique grabs hold of everything, and when he can’t do one, he switches to another. Barcelona are unhappy with how much time and energy the defender spends off the pitch. The eternal flights associated with business – in Asia, the Middle East and the United States – are worth nothing. The World and European champion plays average, he makes mistakes more often. His age takes its toll, but his side projects also interfere. Unlike Braithwaite, who is not so important for Barcelona, and may in the future become a billionaire thanks to his relatives overseas, Pique is only looking for a way to his fabulous wealth. And he often misses games because of injuries.
The new Super Cup – the brainchild of Gerard
It turned out that the puppeteer behind the move of the Spanish Super Cup from Europe to Saudi Arabia is the Barcelona defender. This was initially concealed because we see a conflict of interest – the regular competitor is not selling the tournament to the United States or to Qatar, but giving it to the Saudi sheikhs. Reputation is important, and if the world thinks you are wrong, sooner or later you will pay. That’s how it is in the soccer business. Pique enlisted the support of Rubiales, the Spanish Ducov known for the wild story of Lopetegui’s resignation before the 18 World Cup, and figured out how to raise money.
Tebas, the head of La Liga, is still pushing for away tours of the Primera in the United States and Canada, which would allow the Spanish championship to make a lot of money. And Pike convinced Rubiales to change the format of the Spanish Super Cup, now instead of a final of two matches we have a mini-tournament with four participants, and at the same time give the right to the next finals to foreigners who are willing to pay not only directly to the Spanish Football Federation, but also to the intermediary. By chance, it turned out that this company is the investment team of one Gerard Pique, a Spanish citizen and Barcelona defender.
Now Rubiales and Pique, on the advice of their lawyers, are repeating the same story – it was illegal to record their conversations over the phone. But the press has already received all the necessary information, and freedom of speech is the basis of the normal existence of any developed society. Lawyers advise Louis and Gerard to keep quiet about the details of the deal, because it is unknown whether everything was as clean as the official and the businessman assure. After all, what’s strange about the Super Bowl deal in Saudi Arabia? Far from being the most popular mini-tournament, it was sold at a non-market value. They used to get pennies after two finals, now we’re talking about 40 million euros a season.
It’s unlikely that Piquet will be punished, but Rubiales is at risk
Businessmen walk in gray areas and survive, and Gerard is exactly in that role. But an official walking into troubled waters threatens to lose his position, especially if Tebas and Perez, two powerful enemies of Rubiales, attack him together. The problem is that Pique got into negotiations and convinced the head of the organization that cares about the calendar in Spanish soccer to move the Spanish Super Cup from August to January, in the middle of the regular season, but at a time when Saudi Arabia is ready to host and watch big soccer performed by Real Madrid and Barcelona. Commercially profitable, in a soccer sense, not always.
For some reason Pique’s company gets 10% of the deal, although it is unclear why so much. Moreover, there was a single payment, so €30 million will go through Gerard’s firm. Strange mediation, because Saudi Arabia has a Sovereign Fund with which to negotiate directly. You definitely heard about it when the prince was buying Newcastle. The money from it is spent, among other things, on sports projects. The aim is to placate the Europeans so that they write less about human rights violations in an Arab monarchical country. Reputation is important in business, and it is no coincidence that Saudi princes seek public lawyers.
Piquet, if all the paperwork is done correctly, is unlikely to suffer. But the very fact that Rubiales is so grateful in conversations to Gerard for his help-the defender got Messi and other stars to record a video that helped move the Super Bowl to the right date-that the Spanish prosecutors could dig further and find secret payments to officials from middlemen. Now that would be criminal, in which case Rubiales would at best lose his post, at worst go to jail.
Spanish authorities do not need to ask twice to dig into the dirty laundry of the Catalan guys, the former president of Barcelona went to jail, and even Bartomeu is rejoicing early – they can come for him. Pique could take into account their bitter experience, then document all deals with Saudi Arabia clean. But if the leaked conversations took place, law enforcement already has the rest of the audio. In case there is information on the tapes that would lead to Rubiales’ payments, or it turns out that the Arab billionaires were blackmailed – if you do not overpay, we give the Spanish Super Cup to the Americans, it’s already a blow to the Spanish Football Federation.
An official and corruption cannot live without each other? We will know after the trial, but for now Rubiales has run into a conflict of interest, when he asked one of the Spanish Super Bowl participants to negotiate the sale of the tournament. “Real and Barcelona were silent because they were given €8 million each, and Perez knows that every million on the way to signing Mbappe is important to him. Pique, on the other hand, is bringing his departure from Barcelona closer with such stories, because Laporta can hear on other recordings how Gerard talks about him and the club. The footballer has made no secret that he wants to take over the club in the future, so Joan may not see him as an associate but as a competitor.