Barcelona — Barcelona was forced by star player Lionel Messi to leave the club. His high wages combined with strict Liga fiscal rules could jeopardize his future, President Joan Laporta said Friday.
Both the club, which recently suffered a sudden loss, and Messi, 34, wanted to sign a new deal. However, in Argentine transactions, salaries will reach 110% of the club’s revenue, which is an economically risky move given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Laporta said.
“The club is better than anything else, better than the best players in the world,” Laporta said at a press conference.
“We have reached an agreement because of the club’s financial situation, but we haven’t been able to formally, which means we can’t register players because of salary restrictions,” he said.
Without Messi’s wages, salaries would make up 95% of Barcelona’s income, but ideally should not exceed 70%. “So there’s still a lot to do,” Laporta said.
Messi wanted to sign a new contract in Barcelona on a 50% lower basis than the latest wages, but the club couldn’t come up with an arrangement that also complied with the financial rules of the Spanish LaLiga tournament.
Messi’s last deal, signed in 2017, was the most lucrative of the world’s sports, according to a January report from the newspaper Elmundo. Forbes lists him as the world’s second most profitable $ 130 million athlete in 2021.
José Libero, a 36-year-old student and Barca fan standing on the streets of the Catalan capital, said, “It’s really sad to end up like this when he thinks he’s already contracted again … I’m really sad. “
Even fans of rival Real Madrid were disappointed to see Messi leave.
“I think Messi is one of the best, if not the best, players ever,” said Roberto, 63, a newsstand owner at a kiosk in the Spanish capital. ..
Laporta said the club has signed two new contracts with Messi. First a two-year contract paid in five years, then another five-year contract, but neither contract was signed due to Liga’s Financial Fairplay (FFP). )rule.
Messi’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Laporta said he could have signed Messi’s deal if he agreed to LaLiga’s proposed injection of € 2.7 billion from CVC, but while the club was considering investing in CVC, he said. I wasn’t willing to bet it for short-term profits. It’s well below the 10 percent value of Riga.
“In order to meet FFP, Barca had to agree on a strategy to essentially remortgage clubs that would affect us over the next 50 years with respect to television rights, and I decided. I had to do it, “he said.
However, LaLiga president Javier Tebas wrote on Twitter that the CVC deal “guarantees more value for all clubs” rather than mortgaging these rights for 50 years.
According to Laporta, the coronavirus-affected economic losses for the 2020-21 season are now around € 400 million, double expectations, and clubs are not at risk for the “next 50 years.” I had to think about the future. Just to meet FFP standards.
Messi was in the club for all of his playing career, but Barcelona announced Thursday that six Ballon d’Or winners would leave 18 years later.
Barca’s greatest scorer and performer in Barca’s history, Barca technically ended his 21-year relationship with the club at the end of June and is now a free agent after his previous contract expired.
Joining Barcelona at the age of 13, Messi has helped clubs win 10 league titles, four Champions League and three Club World Cups in their illustrious career.
Argentina’s next move remains unclear, and so far he remains without a club prior to the 2021-202 season.
He has long been associated with his move to Manchester City, where he was reunited with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola or Paris Saint-Germain in France.
PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino told reporters Friday that Messi was an “option” being evaluated by the club without giving details.
Manchester City Guardiola said the Premier League champions have no plans to take action for Messi.
Still, some observers believe that Messi’s announcement of withdrawal is in fact a bold call for Barca to bluff against LaLiga’s financial rules.
Laporta lamented the financial situation inherited from former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu as “much worse” than expected.
“I don’t want to go any further with the circumstances we have inherited and the terrible decisions we have made in the past. We have gotten worse,” he said.