Sports 07/08/2021

Barça, from celebrating to lamenting over Messi in 48 hours

According to La Liga, Reverter convinced Laporta to reject CVC's financial injection, which was key to signing up the Argentinian

3 min
Leo Messi and Joan Laporta talking after the azulgrana team won the Cup final.

BarcelonaUntil he signs up with another team, Leo Messi is a free agent and, therefore, Barça would still be in time to incorporate him for the season that is about to begin. Barcelona's president, Joan Laporta, has put words this Friday to the resignation of the entity to make possible the continuity of its best footballer. A resignation that, according to the Barcelona lawyer, has been reluctantly from all parties and is only based on the difficulty to put the new contract within the limits of the financial fair play required by La Liga.

The impediment is fully in force and Messi, judging by the public and official position of his exclub, is out of orbit. Still, the transfer market has three long weeks ahead and both Laporta and his top executives, with the calendar in hand, could continue working to lower tabs and free salary mass to register the 10's new contract, which until a day ago was the number one goal of the board. In fact, until Thursday at noon, most of the directors and several workers of the institution had made space in their agendas to attend the signing ceremony they expected to be held on Friday.

IInstead of a celebration of Messi's renewal, the event held at the 1899 Auditorium was a lamentation officiated by Laporta, who based his argument to explain the non-agreement with the Argentine on two main aspects: the "nefarious inheritance received" - of Bartomeu - and the difficulties posed by La Liga in terms of salary. The first factor lies, among other things, in the over-sizing of the squad's contracts, a burden that, according to the president, cannot be solved because of the second factor. Not even the financial solution proposed by the leader of the employers, Javier Tebas, convinces Barça to expand the margin needed to sign the number 10.

Laporta argues that the investment of the CVC fund compromises the television rights of the entity for 50 years, a point of view that Real Madrid also defends. What the president has not recognised is that accepting this money (270 million in a soft loan) also implies a formal renunciation to the Super League project. Tebas has reflected in the small print of the agreement this time hidden after having committed to the club to relax the fair play law. The president of the League guaranteed the what, but camouflaged the how

As explained by ARA, Tebas was in Laporta and Alemany's boat to facilitate the salary issue, to the point that he was in daily contact with both of them to help the miracle. Still, the solution is not liked in Camp Nou. Sources of the employers's association assure this newspaper that the Barcelona CEO, Ferran Reverter, has been the key figure to disapprove an operation that the president of Madrid, Florentino Perez, does not support either, and that right now is in the air because investors need the two big ones of the state football to participate in the business of La Liga.

Busquets, the first to say goodbye

That Barça and the employers' association were on the same page was also confirmed by the only administrator of Mediapro, Jaume Roures, who participated in the endorsement of Laporta's board. In declarations to RAC1, the Barça businessman and audio-visual producer of the state tournament has said that Messi's signing "was totally agreed on and had been agreed for days" and that "another thing is what affected other players". Roures, therefore, takes responsibility away from Tebas and notes a disagreement with the Argentinian based on "sporting planning". That is to say, he points to the first team, in which there are still big players who do not count for Ronald Koeman.

Meanwhile, in Barça's locker room, few voices have been raised after the news of Messi's farewell, and the words that Laporta has dedicated to the players on Friday. Only Ansu Fati and Sergi Busquets, who will inherit the captain's armband if there is no other turn of events, have written a farewell to Messi, who through his entourage conveys sadness about the current situation and denies contacts with other clubs despite the information that has already begun to emerge about the everlasting interest of PSG in signing him. In fact, sources close to Messi assure ARA that, at the moment, they see much more pessimism in Laporta and the board with regard to a hypothetical solution to the matter than on his part.