President of Barcelona, Joan Laporta has confirmed that the club won't have been able to keep Lionel Messi even if Antoine Griezmann had left for Atletico Madrid earlier. Laporta spoke about the current financial crises of the club after the exit of Argentine.
According to reports, Messi and Barcelona already had a verbal agreement about signing a new contract. The deal did not see the light of day because of the financial fair play rule in Spain.
Laporta reflected on Lionel Messi's departure from the club and also about the club's financial situation in an interview that was reported by Goal on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021.
There is no objective data. Everyone can compare it. We were pressured that we would either sign the CVC loan (deal) or there is no fair play.
There was no margin. There was a pre-agreement (with Messi) and we had shaken hands. There were several agreements and La Liga seemed to accept it, but then they said no without CVC. We didn't think that the situation was going to improve, and we put an end to it.
Messi could not have stayed even with Griezmann's departure and with the salary reduction of the captains. But it is important that we have lowered the salary cap because next year we can be more ambitious.
I think we were both sad because the situation was not what we wanted. I have not spoken with Messi since. I saw his debut with PSG and it was strange to see him on another team, rivals. I did not enjoy seeing him in another shirt.
He also spoke about the present financial situation of the club following the exit of some players and the reduction of salaries of the club's captains.
The reduction of the expenditure is important, as we have gone from 110 to 80%.
I want to congratulate the executives and the financial department of Barcelona for their work and all those who have worked tirelessly and extraordinarily.
And we have some heroes in Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, and we will seal the deal with Sergi Roberto.
What they have done is admirable. They are committed to the club, to the members. It is admirable. And we will continue with other players, such as Samuel Umtiti and others from the first team. We are in a process that is not easy. First, the captains have set an example, and now we will continue with others.
Lionel Messi, for the first time in 21 years, was not part of the Barcelona team going into a new season.