Lionel Messi’s Barcelona career came to an end yesterday when he signed 2 years contract at PSG because the cash-strapped Spanish club cannot afford to pay and keep him in Camp Nou, club president Joan Laporta said Friday.
In a dramatic news conference, Laporta said he was not prepared “to put the club at risk” by renewing Messi’s contract, with Barca facing huge financial problems ahead of the start of La Liga on August 15.
Lio Messi contract might have worth a fortune for him to say that!!! On the contrary let’s consider the contribution and achievement the Argentinian and world football legend has brought to camp Nou,
🔹 La Liga. 10
🔹 Spanish super cup. 8
🔹 Copa del rey. 6
🔹 Champions league. 4
Laporta said Barcelona were no longer negotiating with Messi and the 34-year-old forward was considering other offers.
” we realised it was over. I had the last conversation with Leo’s father,” said Laporta
I do not want to give false hope. The player has other offers and there is a time limit because La Liga starts soon and he needs time to assess his other options.”
But La Liga’s financial fair play rules, which are expected to reduce the amount Barca can spend on salaries this season by some 200 million euros ($235 million), led Laporta to conclude they were unable to complete the deal.
“We could not accommodate Messi’s contract,” said Laporta, who was re-elected as club president in March.
“The situation we have inherited is abominable and the sports salary bill represents 110 per cent of the club’s income.
“La Liga’s rules set limitations and we have no margin. We have known the situation since we arrived but the numbers we have seen are even worse than we thought.”
Barcelona have total debts of almost 1.2 billion euros, with more than half of that needing to be repaid in the short term.
Laporta said they have found the club’s losses for the season just ended to be almost 500 million euros, more than double what they expected.
Laporta said Barca could have registered Messi by agreeing to the deal but insisted it was a risk he was not prepared to take.
“We were not prepared to put the club at risk in this way,” said Laporta.
I am not willing to mortgage the club for anyone. We have an institution that is above everyone, even the best player in the world.”
– ‘A certain sadness’ -Messi tried to leave Barcelona for free last year but was forced to stay after the club told him an exit clause in his contract had expired.
He set aside his disappointment and finished last season with 38 goals in 47 games in all competitions.
Laporta said he felt “sadness and disappointment” but that he “did everything possible” to keep Messi, who joined Barcelona aged 13 and has 672 goals in 778 appearances for the club.
Messi won La Liga 10 times and the Champions League four times. He is also a six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or.
“Leo Messi has been an icon and has left some historic moments. We have eternal gratitude to him,” Laporta said. We say fair well and success in his new club.