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Barcelona President Joan Laporta reveals why Lionel Messi was let go

Barcelona President Joan Laporta reveals why Lionel Messi was let go

Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona

Yesterday, Barcelona released the news that Barcelona will not be the home of Lionel Messi next season, sending shockwaves through the footballing world.

Laporta addresses the world

This morning, Barcelona club president took to television to address the situation, explaining that it was financial regulations that prevented the club from signing their best player on to a new contract.

He began:

“I am here to explain the situation”

“The salary max is 110% of the total income of the club, and we don’t have any margin in terms of salary. The rules and regulations of the Spanish La Liga is regulated by FFP.

“The losses are a lot more elevated than what we had expected, what we are spending is a lot more than we expected, and the current contracts means that we have this salary max of great magnitude, and we have no margin.”

He then revealed that he was forced to choose between a long-term television deal, which would see them tied to La Liga for 50 years, or the extension of Lionel Messi.

“In order to have that fair play, Barca had to agree to an operation that would affect the club for the next 50 years in terms of TV rights”.

“The reasons why we have decided that we have to get to this point of negotiations is that there are objective reasons regarding the economical situation of the club, and an investment of that volume with the contract of Messi was risky.

Barcelona President Joan Laporta reveals why Lionel Messi was let go

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 07: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on March 07, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

We wanted to assume those risks, all of us in the board of directors, but when we realised the real situation of the club after the audit, it would put the club at great risk”.

“If we terminate current contracts, that also has its risks, and the only way to have that salary margin right now was to accept that operation (the TV deal), an operation that we don’t think is interesting to Barca.”

Laporta continued to stress that it was not negotiations between Messi and the club that broke down, saying that:

“Leo wanted to stay at Barca, we wanted him to stay”.

“That was a key factor, he wanted to stay”.

“We have to abide by the rules. We think they could be more flexible but thats not an excuse, we knew the rules”.

“We couldn’t abide by them because of the previous regime.”

“I’m sad, but I’m convinced we have done the best for Football Club Barcelona”.

“I hope we can overcome this situation. A new era starts now”

Laporta was then asked, can the situation be overturned, to which he replied:

“I don’t want to generate false hope and during the course of negotiations we’ve known that the player has had other offers. There was a time limit, for us because la Liga starts shortly and for them because he needs some time.” 

We’d been at it for two months and we’ve gone through different stages. The first agreement was two years that would be paid across five years, and Leo was in agreement with that. He was always present and he tried to make it easy for us”.

“Then we agreed to a five-year contract that was also accepted by Leo, even though we were thinking of two more years”.  

“Two years at Barca is what we all wanted. We wanted the era post-Messi to start in two years. But taking into account the circumstances we have had to take that forward. 

“We all wanted to enjoy his talent, his magic, but at the moment it can’t be”

“Barca goes above players, coaches, and presidents”. 

Barcelona President Joan Laporta reveals why Lionel Messi was let go

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 07: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona lifts up his sixth Ballon d’Or prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca at Camp Nou on December 07, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Finally, Laporta discussed the finances at the club, revealing the salary limits currently on the club:

“The ratio that we have in the salary limit is 4:1, so to bring in 25 million in salary we had to release 100 million, that’s a lot of players and a lot of reduction.” 

“With some players we have reached agreements, and with others we are working with”. 

“Maybe we’ll have to make other decisions but they are not a guarantee of anything.”. 

“It did seem that La Liga was going to be more flexible with Fair Play”

“We thought we would get more flexibility but it was extremely difficult, but we knew of the situation”

With Messi seemingly no longer able to return to Barcelona unless massive sales are made, where could he end up?

[Quotes taken from Barca TV]

Read more:

Barcelona chief provides concerning update on Chelsea-linked Ilaix Moriba: ‘Club comes first’

What Ronald Koeman & Laporta have said about Lionel Messi signing new Barcelona deal


This article was edited by Josh Barker.