‘Barca let Messi down’

Barcelona have been accused of letting Lionel Messi down by not accompanying him to his tax fraud trial.

Former President Joan Laporta took aim at his successor Josep Maria Bartomeu over the issue of Messi’s court date and the lack of representation by the club, and the renewed sponsorship agreement with Qatar Airways, which is lower than had been promised.

“The club has let the player down, the best player in history, the best player in the world. We have a President and a board that didn’t accompany him when he had to testify in court,” Laporta complained, Sport reports, in an appearance on Catalan radio.

“The sponsorship is a lie. In his electoral campaign he said he would sign a sponsor for more than €60m and this isn’t the best on the market. I don’t understand why they do this in this way and therefore there is always the shadow of suspicion, in my opinion, that they are paying less than what Barca should receive and also that some directors have business in Qatar…”

Tags Joan Laporta Lionel Messi