Laporta responds to socio complaints about Lionel Messi's departure

"Unfortunately it's happened now, maybe two years before expected"

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During Barcelona's assembly on Saturday, three of the delegate members expressed their disappointment at Lionel Messi's departure and demanded the truth from president Joan Laporta.

"We didn't have any room to move on the wage bill and with the results we were receiving from the audit it wasn't good," Laporta explained.

"For Messi to fit, we had to accept an operation with an investment fund called CVC, is what LaLiga told us. We couldn't accept it as it was put to us, it would have been mortgaging off the club's future. Messi could not wait any longer and understood it was the moment to leave."

One of the socios suggested that Messi had an agreement in place with PSG from the moment he sent the burofax last year.

Laporta said: "Leo's people assured me, and I believe them, that they had nothing done. He only wanted to continue at Barcelona.

"What stays with me now is how much we've been able to enjoy him, from the age of 16 until 34. This moment had to come sooner or later, unfortunately it's happened now, maybe two years before expected."

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