You could try anything to fix it and then upgrade the steering wheel if all else fails. At least you tried. Then spend a little money and get a brand new wheel, even nicer.
Paper can get in between cracks like dental floss. Maybe you could get a little water in there, push a piece of paper in there, soak up the soda and water, and pull the paper out...repeatedly.
Depress the button to give yourself the biggest gap.
Leatherique leather care to restore.