Barca’s president Laporta gives press conference, provides details on Messi

18:16, 06 August 2021
Barca’s president Laporta gives press conference, provides details on Messi Photo:

Yesterday the club announced that the Argentinian player would leave Barcelona.

On Thursday the Spanish football club Barcelona announced that it did not manage to sign a new contract with its legend Lionel Messi due to financial and structural problems.

Few details were given yesterday so the whole sports world was waiting for President Joan Laporta’s press conference. He was expected to reveal details of the new financial fair play rules introduced by La Liga and give more information on the talks with Leo.

Financial aspect

After some opening words in Catalan, Laporta proceeded to the financial details.

The President has explained that if Barcelona was determined to keep Messi, the club would engage itself in a 50-year mortgage in order to respect La Liga’s regulations. He added that even the best player in the world was not more important than the club, so it could not accept such a plan.

Then Laporta revealed that the debts left by the previous board provided no option to improve the situation. Former President Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned on 27 October 2020, his controversial policy and mismanagement were the reasons Messi wanted to leave the club earlier in 2020. Current officials expected about $200 mln losses this year, but the previous administration left them almost $500-mln losses.

He has said that Barca exceeded its payroll limits which the League refused to make more flexible, so the prolongation of Messi’s contract would not be profitable to the club since it did not manage to sell some of its players and was not able to afford to breach their contracts.

Barcelona and Messi had already made an accord on a new two-year contract which would be paid in five years but La Liga did not validate it. The parties expected the League to loosen its rules, but it rejected the idea.

Including Messi’s contract, Barca would have exceeded the limit by 15% and the League wants the teams to keep it at the point of 65-70% below the cap, thus the only decision was to let Leo leave.

The president assured that the whole situation was not an attempt of blackmailing the League, adding that La Liga wanted Messi to stay as well but could not make exceptions.

Individuals and personal attitude

First of all, Laporta has thanked Messi lots of times over the years in the club, for everything he did, and also for the sportsman’s desire to sign a new contract and stay a part of Barca. He wished Messi all the best and several times called him the best player in the world. The president has said that Barca will always be Messi’s home and it will pay a tribute he deserves.

The Executive also thanked Leo’s father for holding negotiations in the last two months and reaching an agreement even though it was not approved by the League. Laporta also thanked everyone who participated in the negotiations.

Laporta has announced that he phoned the team captain yesterday and declared that the team was entering a new post-Messi era, asking the players for commitment and professionalism.

To the question of who was to blame Laporta did not give a precise answer. He said that neither he and the club officials nor Messi and his entourage should be accused and specified that the club found itself in a terrific economic situation and it was worse than they had imagined.

The president avoided blaming La Liga directly but made it clear that the club expected more flexibility on its part.

What now?

Laporta has indicated that Messi has a number of options to choose from and the club does not know where Messi might end up. He has received several offers and it is better to ask him about it, the President added.

Concerning new transfers, Laporta revealed that the club would probably be able to sign some new players after its payroll got alleviated. The transfer market is open until 31 August, so everything is possible.

The conference lasted for almost an hour and a half. The president spoke in Spanish, Catalan and English and tried not to avoid any question.

Messi is now having a holiday in Ibiza. Last month Argentina won the Copa America trophy, the first major tournament in Messi’s career with the national team.