Lionel Messi: Barcelona president Joan Laporta says new deal would have risked club's future

President Joan Laporta says that Barcelona's attempt to keep Lionel Messi might have put the club in danger for 50 years.Messi, aged 34, has resigned because they couldn't afford to offer him a new contract due to La Liga's salary cap.Private equity wanted to invest in La Liga. This could have made Messi's signing possible, but it would have required Barca to give up some TV rights.Laporta stated, "I cannot make a decision that will impact the club for 50+ years.""The club has been around for over 100 years and is above all, including the greatest player in the world. We will forever be grateful to him for all he has done for us."We need fair play to ensure fair play. We must do this or we will put the club at serious risk. We could not continue with this and had to make a change. This decision has been made.Messi, Barcelona's most successful goal scorer, had signed a five-year contract with reduced wages. However, the club had to cut their wage bill in order to pay him.Laporta stated that Leo wanted to stay so he wasn't happy. We all wanted him to stay. He has to face reality. He knows that it's a fact that cannot be changed, and I wish him all the best wherever he goes."Laporta said that he didn't want to offer "false hope," on "hypothetical", ideas that would make Messi's future possible. He said, "This negotiation is over."Paris St-Germain has begun to investigate the possibility of Messi signing."There will be a before-and-after Leo"Messi holds the record for Barcelona's goal scorer, scoring 672 goals. He has also won 10 La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues."Leo's legacy has been exemplary. Laporta stated that he has made history. He's the player who has had the greatest success in club history."He's the symbol of an era that was glorious. This is the best Barca era, up to today."A new era starts now. There will be a Leo before and after. He deserves our eternal gratitude."Laporta said that Messi wanted to remain for two years more, even though he had already signed a five year deal."Obviously, it's sad that the situation is the way it is. With Covid, we are unable to pay homage in a way that we would have liked to in two years with fans at the stands."We all thought two years, then if he wants more we could negotiate. We wanted the post-Messi period to begin in two years. We had to move it forward due to the circumstances."We thought La Liga would have more flexibility."CVC, a private equity firm, wanted to invest 2.7bn in La Liga in return for 10% revenue and a 10% share in most of its businesses. Real Madrid and Barca opposed the deal.Laporta stated that the only way to get the salary margin was to accept an operation that isn't interesting for Barcelona."It's an operation which puts at risk the club over the next 50 years. That's impossible.Laporta, who was elected president in March following the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu in October, says that a recent audit has shown that the club's financial position is worse than expected. He also stated that he originally believed La Liga would permit their new contract with Messi.He stated that "We haven’t had six months [to sort it out]". "We have had less time because the audit numbers just came out."The initial figures have shown that the situation is worse than we expected. We have gone from bad to worse."Laporta acknowledged that he believed La Liga would be more flexible and fair-playing, and that he would accept their contract offers with Messi.Laporta stated that the first offer included two years' salary, to be paid in five. "When we believed that FFP would allow this, the cash criteria came into play."It's illegal here, but it's legal in other countries. La Liga was subject to pressure from other clubs who want their rules and regulations to be respected."Then, we agreed to a five year contract. Although we thought it would be permitted by FFP regulations and I was convincingly implying that this would be permissible, after technical analysis by La Liga, we discovered it would not be.Barcelona's wage bill has fallen from 110% to 95% due to Messi's departure.He said, "We're at limit even without Leo." "We have to recalculate, but we're above the salary limit."Laporta is hopeful that the club can sign new players such as Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay, Emerson, and Eric Garcia, now that Messi is gone.He said, "These are players who came to Barca to accept certain salary conditions. We have to thank them.""The arrivals of these players are not comparable to what it would have been like to formalize the agreements with Messi regarding FFP.""Messi in shock... PSG is the only option" - How dramatic a day has been!Guillem Balague, a Spanish football writerThe first hour was difficult for me because it's a complicated story with many twists and turns. I was denial. Barcelona seemed to be putting pressure on La Liga, I thought.La Liga imposes a limit on wages on teams. Barca has a large debt.It was a difficult decision. It is ending here. It is now over.Messi, his father Jorge Messi and Jorge Messi's agent came to Barcelona to confirm that a new contract had been signed. All had been finalized for three weeks.Joan Laporta, president of La Liga, told Jorge Messi that they had examined the details of the contract and the new financial agreement La Liga reached [with CVC], and that 15% can be used for wages.They realized that this was not enough for financial fair play. It is impossible.Many of the players Barcelona wanted out don't want go. All that is happening isn't happening with Jordi Alba and Antoine Griezmann. This means that even though Messi has reduced his earnings by 50%, Barcelona can't afford him.His goal was to make 20 million euros next season and not be the highest-paid player at Barcelona. Why did Laporta meet with Laporta on Thursday to sign a contract?Messi is shocked - PSG seems to have the only solution. He can relax and prepare for the World Cup, then go to the United States in a league that is not as competitive. It must be PSG.This will take some time to get over. Barcelona is saying, "We are moving in a different direction and not trying to put pressure on La Liga." It is very difficult to accept.