Why did messi leave barcelona ? This has been an ongoing issue for Barcelona. La Liga has rules around salary caps. If a team goes over their allotted amount — which is based on financial performance in recent seasons — they are unable to register a player and therefore unable to use them in the league. It does not matter if they are able to pay them or not.
This was the issue when Messi left Barcelona in 2021. He had agreed a new contract but because of the salary cap rule they were unable to register him — and therefore he had to leave. He ended up joining Paris Saint-Germain.
It did not end with Messi’s exit. Last summer, Barcelona signed Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde. Lewandowski, Kessie, Christensen and Raphinha were only registered in the days before the season began after Barcelona activated a series of ‘economic levers’. Kounde was registered just before the window closed.
La Liga has recently approved Barcelona’s viability plan for next season but with some conditions. They are still above their salary limit. In order to keep reducing the limit, La Liga will only allow Barcelona to spend 40 per cent of any money they raise through sales and loans on new signings. For example, if they sell a player who reduces their salary bill by €100million, they would be able to register a player with a €40m salary.
The viability plan being approved means they can now register new contracts for Gavi, Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto and Marcos Alonso. It also means they can confirm the arrival of defender Inigo Martinez from Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona, therefore, had to find further capacity to sign Messi. And they had very little time to do so.
Messi had already verbally agreed with the club that he would have a salary of approximately €25m (£21m) a year. This means they would have needed to free up around £70m in salaries to register him.
That’s a lot for Barcelona to do at speed and Messi clearly wanted to make a swift decision about his future. Barcelona would have struggled to close big sales like that in the near future, as head coach Xavi has not even spoken to the players he’d like to leave. Ferran Torres, Franck Kessie and Ansu Fati could be among those players.
After returning from their friendly in Japan, Xavi essentially told the players he would see them on July 10 when pre-season begins. While conversations are still expected to happen sooner rather than later, they were not soon enough to influence Messi’s decision.
The only way Barcelona would have been able to complete a deal for Messi is if he had decided to wait for them. This would have given them the time to sell the players they need to. Xavi essentially said this in recent interviews when he pointed out that Messi had “99 per cent of the power”. This did not impress people close to Messi, who thought it added pressure to a situation the player was growing tired over.
There was serious risk involved in waiting for Messi. His last experience of dealing with Barcelona served as a severe warning and reduced his trust levels with the club. The trauma from that would leave him with little confidence they would be able to do that.
Just two years ago, Barcelona only told him at the last minute he would have to leave as they could not register him. In a mirror-image of those events, a crucial meeting between Laporta and Jorge Messi took place just before Barcelona landed in Japan for Tuesday’s friendly against Vissel Kobe.
Why did Lionel Messi leave Barcelona?
Simply put, Messi left Barcelona because the club didn’t have enough of a wage budget left to offer him a new contract.
He entered the summer of 2021 as a free agent, but it was widely believed it would only be a matter of time before he signed a new deal with the La Liga side. However, that changed when the club’s financial problems emerged.
Under La Liga rules, clubs can only spend a certain amount of their revenue on signing players and paying their salaries, and Barça’s revenue had dropped significantly as a result of the global pandemic.
Why did Lionel Messi leave Barcelona in 2021?
To put things forth in the simplest terms, Barcelona simply couldn’t afford to keep Messi in the team any longer as their wage budget wasn’t enough to accommodate the Argentine superstar.
While Messi entered the summer of 2021 as a free agent, it was widely believed that he would strike some sort of a deal with the Catalans eventually.
However, the club at the time was embroiled in economic turmoil and very soon the extent of the mess became clear for everyone to see.
As per La Liga’s rules, clubs can only spend only some of their revenue to sign players and on wages. Herein lay the issue for Barcelona as the club’s financial struggles came to light.
Barcelona’s serious economic challenges in 2021 were further exacerbated by COVID-19 and it was one of the many reasons behind Messi’s departure.
Furthermore, Barca’s responsibility in the transfer market that saw them spend huge amounts on buying players and the offering of huge contracts to both new and existing members of the squad didn’t help their cause either.
To navigate these various challenges, the Argentine superstar even reportedly offered to take a staggering 50 per cent pay cut and agree to a new contract extension.
But La Liga’s stringent player registration rules prevented this from happening and prohibited the Spanish club from keeping their club icon at Camp Nou.
Ahead of every season, La Liga’s economic control department reviews the profits, losses and debts of each club and lays down a cost limit for them to ensure the long-term sustainability and financial health of the club.
For Barcelona, La Liga’s economic control department laid down a limit of €144 million (roughly $160 million) per annum in wages to be spent on its players, coaches, physios and reserve teams for the 2021-22 season.
Messi’s wages, despite a reported 50 per cent pay cut, was at around €50 million (roughly $55 million), which left very little room to accommodate Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, let alone the support staff, coaches, physios and the reserve teams, who all were legally entitled to be paid that season.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta, in a news conference before Messi’s teary-eyed farewell, said that the only way to keep Messi at Camp Nou was to accept La Liga’s proposal of selling 10% of the league’s business to investment fund partners.
“The club is above players, coaches and presidents,” Laporta explained. “It would not be in Barca’s best interests to receive some money and affect (revenue from) television rights for the next 50 years. It is not something we can do (to keep Messi). It’s too risky..”
A few days later, Messi signed a two-year deal with French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) with a net salary of $34.6 million per season.
Two years later, Barcelona’s financial situation has improved slightly and Messi’s contract with PSG is set to expire. If some reports are to be believed, Messi’s house in Barcelona is already being prepared for a homecoming and he is set to return to Camp Nou for the final spell of his career.
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