Joan Laporta has been speaking today about the situation that has left Lionel Messi looking for a new club.
Here is what the Barcelona president had to say.
“I’m here to explain the situation in the situation we have reached in the negotiations of Lionel Messi.
“The inheritance we have received is dreadful.
“The salary mass is 110% of the income of the club.
“We don’t have any margin in the La Liga rules and regulations. We have no margin.
“We knew that when we got to the club”
“The numbers are a lot worse than the numbers that were exposed initially.
“The losses are a lot more elevated than what we had expected.
“We are spending more than we expected and the current contracts mean we have a salary mass of great magnitude.”
Consequences of Messi deal
“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.”
Leo’s other offers
“Leo wanted to stay at Barca and to get him to stay was the first step that was made, but with Fair Play, it needed to be of a certain duration and he has other offers, of course.”
La Liga regulations
“It has to be analysed rigorously and with a cold head and look at the numbers.
“In the Spanish La Liga, we have to abide by the rules.
“We think they can be more flexible, but that is not an excuse.
“We knew the regulation, but we could not abide by it because of the inheritance we have.”
A sad day
“I’m sad, but I’m convinced we have done what is best for FC Barcelona.”
“Leo’s legacy is excellent. Leo has made history. he is the player with the most success in the history of the club in an era which has been splendid, the best era of Barca’s history up until today.
“I hope we can overcome this situation. A new era starts now. There will be a before and after Leo, as there was with other great players.”
A deal still possible?
“I don’t want to generate false hope and during the course of negotiations, we have known that the player has had other offers.
“There is a time limit for us and for them.
“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.
“Then we agreed to a five year contract, which was also accepted by Leo. We all agreed.
“We all wanted two years. We wanted the era that starts today to start in two years, but given the circumstances, we have had to bring that forward.
“We all wanted to enjoy his magic at Barcelona but it cannot be.
“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.
“With Leo, he did not have much more margin.
“We thought it would be resolved by July.
“I think it is important to make a decision now, to start life without Lionel Messi.”
When and how it was made
“Two days ago. I reached the conclusion that we had to say enough and we could not do it.
“Yesterday, we had our last conversations with Leo’s father.
“The negotiations have been very intense but I want to congratulate all the parts of the negotiations. There have been agreements, but we can’t say we didn’t know about our salary limit.
“Our decision and my decision is that we cannot put the club at risk.”
La Liga’s CVC deal
“We must accept La Liga’s operation, we will receive money but it affects the TV operations of future years and we cannot accept it.
“If we made this operation with La Liga, we will have some cash income.
“We would have 50% more of salary limit.
“But that would not fix the situation.”
“Operations are working intensely to try to limit the salary mass. Some players we have reached agreements with, others we are in talks with. It’s not easy with the contracts. Some players had already restructured their salaries in previous negotiations and it is not easy.
“Everyone is working on the situation and we have a little bit more margin to see what we can do, but we are at the limit. Even without Leo, we are at the limit.
“it’s a four-to-ne ratio in terms of what we bring in, and that situation is the same without Leo.”
Registering new signings
“The arrival of one of these players is not comparable to what it would have meant to formulise an agreement with Messi in terms of fair play.”
Fresh new signings
“I don’t want to give false hope. This negotiation has ended. La Liga is not flexible in terms of widening the salary limit.
“The (CVC) deal would involve selling 10% of La Liga, which we do not see clearly right now.
“The first team squad is not closed. The market closes at the end of August.
“The salary mass is now at 95%.
“In terms of the salary mass, the spending compared to income should be around 60-65%.
“The problem is not just salaries, it’s also the previous investments that were made, the inheritance that we have.”
“All of us, there will be demands on us. We are up for the challenge. We are more motivated than ever for Barca, without Messi, to continue to be successful.
“It’s obviously sad that we cannot pay homage to him in a way that we would have wanted to do in two years, with fans in the stands.
“It could have been a nicer way, but circumstances are what they are.
“it’s very sad.”
“Leo wanted to stay. So, he is not happy.
“We all wanted him to stay, but for him right now, it is a situation where he has to confront reality and he knows that I wish him the best, wherever he goes.
“Barca is his home.”
“Jorge (Messi) has had a very correct attitude throughout the conversations they have never asked for anything that is not logical.
“They have never put in a situation where the contract was impossible. We reached an agreement.”
Barca will live on
“We have 122 years of history. We have been through everything and we will survive this. We are more determined than ever.”
Do you feel responsible
“No, I don’t.
“I have said this several times. I said we would do everything possible to keep Messi, and we reached an agreement but we could not formulise it because of the economical situation at the club.
“The negotiations were going well because it did seem like La Liga were going to be more flexible. We reached an economical agreement. The players always made it easy for us.
“But at one point, we needed to say enough.
“We couldn’t keep going with this and we needed to make a decision.”