According to a report by ESPN’s Julien Laurens and Samuel Marsden, Lionel Messi’s exit from Barcelona was far from what it looked like. Messi may have claimed that he was not tricked, but the report states that he did not want to criticize anyone during his farewell but does, in fact, feel let down.
Nearly a fortnight ago, reports about him signing a new deal soon were flooding social media, but that all changed within two hours. Rumours of his registration becoming complicated turned official as Barça announced Messi’s departure citing financial constraints.
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Messi had agreed to a new deal with a 50% pay cut and that it would be enough to get to keep him at the club. This is because president Joan Laporta claimed that the revenue to wage bill ratio was mounting to 110% with Messi and 95% without. That is still, by some margin, far off the required 70%, by La Liga regulations.
Hence, it would have been impossible to register the Copa America winner even if he took a larger pay-cut. Owing to rules set by the RFEF, Messi would not have been allowed to play for free, either, as the salary requirement needs to hit at least €155k annually.
Laporta knew about the financial situation for months and has often pinned it on the previous board. He then moved to state that the financial situation of the club is much worse than they were expecting after the audit.
Barcelona would have been able to renew Messi had they accepted the CVC deal, but it would impact the club’s long-term revenue. The deal was accepted, as well, and there was a lot of enthusiasm about the injection of money, but it went to vain soon as Barça’s CEO Ferran Reverter convinced Laporta that the deal was not in favour of the club.
Either way, it seems that Messi’s exit from the club was much more bitter than it looked like, and who can blame him? He was forced to stay when he wanted to leave and had to leave when he wanted to stay. On to write greatness with PSG now.
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