The audit that Barcelona commissioned from Deloitte reflected that Barcelona spent 617 million in salaries and amortizations during the 2020-2021 season. “A 103% with respect to the income”, said the president Joan Laporta; “It is advisable to be between 65% and 70%.” Then, when observing Barça’s economic imbalance, the Professional Football League (LFP) granted it, from the outset, 88 million euros to invest in first-team salaries. Even so, in the face of this discouraging outlook, Laporta continued with the negotiations to keep Lionel Messi (his salary was 138 million gross per year, between fixed and variable) at the Camp Nou. “We were convinced that it could be done because we didn’t know the numbers like we do now. Despite the fact that we had the contract drawn up and the negotiators had already shaken hands; in the end it became clear that it could not be done, “said Laporta.
According to Laporta, Messi’s departure was brought forward. “We have advanced the post Messi two years,” said the president. The idea of the club and the player was to sign a contract for two seasons. However, as the financial and tax architecture could not be fitted, they ended up agreeing on a five-season bond, all as a player. It was never signed. “It had been structured one way, then another, but it didn’t fit. Messi is the best player in the world and he has his aspirations, as is normal, and he had offers, as has been seen, from clubs willing to pay significant amounts ”, added Laporta.
The president of Barcelona, in any case, tried to claim the figure of Messi after whistles were heard at the Camp Nou in the match against Real Sociedad. While a part of the fans chanted the Argentine’s name in the 10th minute of each half; another whistled instead. “I do not think that Messi was kicked. He was recognized, but what the public prioritizes is Barça. They understood that what we have to do now is unity. All I have is eternal gratitude to Leo. It has been a love story between Messi and Barça. But it has been a relationship of many years that has been deteriorating and that is the law of life “, remarked the top Barça manager.
Barcelona won one of the last ten Champions League (in 2015, in Berlin) and Laporta believes that the lack of titles conditioned the Rosario’s bond with the club of his life (he arrived at La Masia at 13 and left at 34). “I speak of deterioration in the relationship with Messi because in recent years the team did not achieve the sporting successes we expected. I’m talking about the successful relationship, ”Laporta insisted.
Messi left Barcelona after winning 35 titles. He is the top scorer in the club’s history (672) and the player who wore the Barça shirt the most times (778). On August 5, the club and Rosario sent a joint statement to announce their breakup. Less than a week later, the Argentine signed for PSG. “In his presentation I have seen him happy. I have contradictory feelings, like all Barcelona fans. I would have preferred to see him at Barça. But I am convinced that we have made the right decision. The institution is above all. The situation was dramatic and if it had happened later we would have had one or two more years of Messi ”, explained the president of Barcelona.
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