Lionel Messi – Barcelona president Joan Laporta says no one bigger than the club; negotiations at end

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the club is not negotiating with Lionel Messi over his contract extension.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said that no one is bigger than the club and negotiations with Lionel Messi are at an end.

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said that talks to retain Lionel Messi at the club have come to an end, and that he does not want to create “false optimism” that the issue can be resolved.

Barcelona confirmed on Thursday that Messi, who has been a free agent since his contract ended in June, would not return due to financial difficulties.

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Laporta stated at a press conference on Friday that the “disastrous” circumstances left over from the previous board, as well as LaLiga’s strict expenditure restrictions, had made retaining Messi difficult.

Messi, 34, had agreed to a new five-year deal with Camp Nou, which would have extended his 21-year association with the club, and Laporta claimed the forward is heartbroken that it will not be feasible.

When asked whether the situation might be salvaged, Laporta replied, “I don’t want to create false optimism.” “We were aware of various bids for Messi throughout the course of the talks.” We and [Messi’s camp] both had a time restriction because they needed it. The leagues have begun.

“The talks with Messi have come to an end, leaving us here without a deal due to the pay cap. Leo is dissatisfied since he wanted to remain. We all wanted him to remain, but he, too, is dealing with the reality of what has occurred. A fact that cannot be altered.”

On Friday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta gave a press conference. PAU BARRENA/AFP photo via Getty Images

According to Laporta, the only option to retain Messi would have been to accept the LaLiga agreement presented this week, which would have sold 10% of the league’s operations to investment firm CVC Capital Partners.

When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of LaLiga’s deal with CVC, Laporta said that no one is greater than the club, and that accepting the conditions of the sale may have placed the club in jeopardy in the long run.

He added, “It would not be in Barca’s best interests.” “We were going to get some money, but we don’t believe taking it — and perhaps jeopardizing our [television rights] income for the next 50 years — is something we can do [to retain Messi]. It’s much too dangerous. Players, coaches, and presidents are all subordinate to the club.”

On Twitter, LaLiga president Javier Tebas reacted to Laporta and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez’s dispute over the establishment of a European Super League.

“You said we [LaLiga] were broke not long ago,” he wrote. “Now that we’re valued at €24.25 billion and [clubs] have access to GROW, you’re concerned about the league’s future revenue, which you’d written off as dead.”

“You know that the CVC deal doesn’t mortgage Barca’s television rights for 50 years; instead, it increases the value of all teams’ television rights, allowing you to MORTGAGE your banks and address the debt issue. That’s how you perceived it just a few hours ago.”

CVC refused to comment, but a person familiar with the transaction claimed the allegations were “totally false” and that CVC “continues to support the initiative.”

Years of mismanagement have contributed to Barcelona’s inability to register Messi, the club’s all-time appearance leader and top goal scorer. Laporta characterized the situation as a “shipwreck” that he inherited from former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

He stated that if Messi were to join Barca, the club’s salary cost would be 110 percent of its income. It will still be 95 percent without Messi, and they have a long way to go to bring it down to the acceptable level of 70 percent.

As a result, Messi was unable to sign a new contract with LaLiga for the next season. Each team in the Spanish league has a spending restriction. Prior to the epidemic, Barca’s revenue was above €600 million, but it dropped to €347 million last season. For the next campaign, further cutbacks are anticipated.

Laporta said that an internal audit had just recently uncovered the real depth of the club’s financial problems, claiming that it was “far worse than anticipated” and that the 2020-21 season would see Barcelona lose €487 million.

After meeting with the first-team players and coach Ronald Koeman at the training field on Friday, the president said that everyone must now work together to take Barca forward in the “post-Messi era.”

“There is sorrow,” he added, “but the players and Ronald are professionals.” They now have the opportunity to demonstrate that their skill can lead Barca to victory.

“It’s time to face the difficulties we’ve set for ourselves and compete in all of the contests we’ve entered. We expect professionalism from our athletes and coaches, and we will provide unwavering support in their quest of greatness.”

Laporta said he was aware Messi had had bids from other clubs, but he didn’t know whether one of them was Paris Saint-Germain, the favorite to acquire the Argentina international.

Despite the club’s dire financial position, Laporta thinks that new players Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Emerson Royal will be able to register with LaLiga. He said that they had all agreed to lesser wages and that their circumstances were not similar to Messi’s.

He also refused to rule out making further additions before the conclusion of the month’s transfer window.

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