Messi has left Barcelona after 21 years of service and Keys has taken aim at the club whose financial woes prevented La Liga from allowing them to re-sign their superstar, who now looks set for a move to Paris
Richard Keys has hit out at Barcelona’s “arrogant disaster” after Lionel Messi’s departure was confirmed last week.
Paris Saint-Germain are now the favourites to sign Messi, who is currently a free agent following 21 years at the Nou Camp.
Although the Argentine had agreed a new contract at Barca, La Liga’s financial regulations prevented the Blaugrana from renewing his deal, despite the six-time Ballon d’Or winner offering to take a 50% pay-cut.
Keys is one of many pundits to have turned to the financial predicament of Catalonian club, who are said to be in £1billion’s worth of debt and saw their 34-year-old icon say a tearful goodbye on Sunday at a press conference.
AFP via Getty Images)
The beIN Sports presenter tweeted : “If Messi signs for PSG I can’t think of one good reason to watch La Liga.
“What have they all done? It’s a disaster for their product – but the outcome of arrogant mis-management for years.”
Keys then referenced Barcelona’s club motto, writing: “More than a Club? Sorry. I don’t think so.”
Prior to Messi’s comments on Sunday, Keys had also said: “There’s something not right about this Messi story.
“La Liga always manipulate finances for the big 2 so why not now? Why would he leave?,” he queried.
“He earns as much off the pitch as on it & ‘loves’ Barca. Stay until things get better.
“Or is this all very convenient for everybody?”
President Joan Laporta, elected and backed by Messi in March, recently admitted that the club had lost £412million during last season alone.
The wage bill of Ronaldo Koeman’s side is well in excess of La Liga’s salary cap regulations, statutes that have become more rigid throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The club have long been overseeing ‘Operation Exit,’ a ploy to get rid of many hefty salaries off the wage books, such as those of Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.
However, the man they did not want to lose was Messi, who has been a free agent upon the expiration of his contract on June 30.
The Blaugrana’s former No. 10 revealed in an emotional public address: “Honestly, when the elections happened, I spoke with Laporta, we had dinner and after that I was convinced I would be staying.
“My new contract was done. All agreed,” Messi stated, who is claimed to be in talks with Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG.
“I wanted to stay and when I came back from holidays, it would be finalised.
“It’s exactly how Laporta explained it.
He then added: “But at the last minute, with everything with La Liga, it couldn’t happen.”
Laporta had previously admitted: “We wanted the post-Messi era to start in two years, but taking the circumstances into account, we had to bring it forward.
“Making a decision that would affect our television rights for the next 50 years is not something we could accept.
“Barca goes above players, coaches, and presidents.”
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