FC Barcelona President Admits Antoine Griezmann Sale Would Not Have Stopped Lionel Messi Exit

Published 09/07/2021, 10:49 AM EDT
Soccer Football – LaLiga – Athletic Bilbao v FC Barcelona – San Mames, Bilbao, Spain – August 21, 2021 FC Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann reacts REUTERS/Vincent West


In the past 5 years, Barcelona have been notorious for spending ridiculous money on transfers and wages. While they did bring in quality players like Coutinho, Dembele, and Griezmann; none of them have lived up to their hefty price tags. This has resulted in fans vocalizing their displeasure towards players like Umtiti. The Frenchman who has been riddled by injuries hasn’t been able to perform at the level which the fans expect.

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Due to their reckless expenditures and shambolic mismanagement, Barcelona today have losses of around 487 million euros. By far, the worst consequence of this crisis was the inability of Barca to retain the G.O.A.T, Lionel Messi. 

Barcelona’s financial crisis

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Speaking on the economic state of the club to Esport 3, Barcelona president Joan Laporta said, “We have met with bonuses to players who agreed to postpone their record, or 8 million euros to a person looking for players for South America. These are improper ways of doing things that have a very high cost for the entity. (…) The closure leads to a loss of 487 million euros, with 1,136 million spent. The Covid-19 impact of the 2020-21 season is 91 million euros.

Ex-Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu’s shambolic mismanagement resulted in a 487 million euro loss

Would Messi have remained at Barca if Griezmann had left earlier?

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Barca’s wage bill and the pressure from La Liga ensured that Messi’c contract could not be renewed despite both parties reaching to an agreement. Even though senior Barca players like Busquets, Pique, and Alba took wage cuts to reduce the wage bill, there wasn’t enough room to accommodate Messi. Players like Pjanic, Umtiti, Griezmann, etc were still on high wages thus affecting the club’s condition. 

Griezmann joined Atletico Madrid on a loan on deadline day. Soccer Football – LaLiga – FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – August 15, 2021 Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann in action REUTERS/Albert Gea

But all this changed when Griezmann, who was on a 95 million euros gross salary joined Atletico Madrid on deadline day. Due to this, people believed that had he left earlier, Messi still could’ve stayed. Some fans even went on to speculate that it was a plan by Atletico Madrid to get Lionel Messi out of the Catalonian club. Denying this notion, Laporta said, “Messi could not have stayed even with [Antoine] Griezmann’s [departure] and with the salary reduction of the captains. But it is important that we have lowered the salary cap because next year we can be more ambitious.” 

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Messi’s departure was certain regardless of Antoine Griezmann joining the Rojiblancos. All Barca can focus on right now is to plan for life after Messi and get back to winning titles. 

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Suresh Menon

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