The president of the club Barcelona’s Joan Laporta admitted he hoped Argentine star Lionel Messi would stay in Catalonia and offered the idea of playing for free with the team, before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi joined the club of the capital last August after Barcelona decided not to renew their contract due to the new La Liga laws relating to wage limits.
“There was a moment in which was clear to both sides that things had become impossible. There was disappointment on both sides, “Laporta said in an interview with RAK1 radio, adding: “He wanted to stay, but they put a lot of pressure because of their offer. They understood that if he didn’t stay, he will go to Saint-Germain.”
And he continued: “I was hoping Messi would change his mind and say he would play for free, I would have liked it if it had happened and I think the Spanish league would have accepted it, but we can’t ask a player of Messi’s stature. To do it.” Laporta he repeated that the bad financial situation of the club prevented the possibility of keeping Messi in the same conditions.
Barcelona recorded a loss of 481 million euros (556 million dollars) last season and a total debt of 1.35 billion euros.
“We got the audit results (Wednesday) and invest in Leo would have put us at risk, “said Laporta, also suggesting that Barcelona could sign an agreement with the investment fund CVC Capital Partners.
La Liga told Barcelona in August that it could keep Messi if the club accepted an agreement to sell to the league 10% of its commercial rights, including those relating to television broadcasting, for 50 years for 2.7 billion euros. However, the club Catalan, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have turned down this offer.
“We don’t need any further debt. I understand that i club La Liga are suffering. We have not excluded ourselves from this process but they must change it. They are trying to rework the agreement, “Laporta explained.
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