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Joan Laporta speaks out about Lionel Messi’s departure

Joan Laporta held a 90-minute press conference today where he addressed the media in the fallout of the shocking news of Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona. 

The president first highlighted the situation with the salaries of the players, stating that the wage percentage was 110% of the income of the club. He further went on to clarify that terminating contracts of other players would have its own risks. 

“It would have meant we put the club in great risk. The salary mass has a great deal to do with that. There is no margin after a calamitous situation that was all down to the previous board of administrators.

“If we terminate current contracts, that also has its risks, and the only way to have that salary margin was to accept that the operation doesn’t work for Barca.”

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Laporta also elaborated that Messi wanted to stay at the club, and that an agreement was in place for a five-year deal between the two parties. “We have been at it for two months and we have gone through different stages. The first agreement was two years to be paid in five, and Leo agreed with that.

“He was always present in negotiations and he tried to make it easy for us.

“When we thought that would be allowed in FFP, the criteria of cash came into play, and it is not allowed here like other countries.

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“Then we agreed to a five year contract, which was also accepted by Leo. We all agreed.

“When we did the five-year contract, which we thought would be allowed, and I had insinuated this in a convincing way, that this would be allowed, after a technical analysis by the La Liga commission, we found out this contract would not be valid within the regulations.”

“What we cannot do is keep prolonging the agony, making things longer.

“We have the (Joan) Gamper (Trophy) this sunder, then the La Liga opener, and we had to make a decision.

“I think it is important to make a decision now, to start life without Lionel Messi.”

Lastly, it is important to note that Laporta rightfully does not blame himself for the departure of Lionel Messi and believes in putting the club ahead of everything else. “The base of everything is the previous administration’s disastrous management which we inherited.

“Some decisions might even have been criminal. I’m not talking about signings. Some are hard to understand. They must have been under pressure but it led to this situation now.” 

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Arsh Das
Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.
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