There is objective data. Everyone can compare it. We were pressured that we would either sign the CVC loan [deal] or there is no fair play.
“There was no margin. There was a pre-agreement [with Messi] and we had shaken hands. There were several agreements and La Liga seemed to accept it, but then they said no without CVC. We didn’t think that the situation was going to improve and we put an end to it.
“Messi could not have stayed even with 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.
“I think we were both sad because the situation was not what we wanted. I have not spoken with Messi since. I saw his debut with PSG and it was strange to see him at another team, rivals. I did not like seeing him in another shirt.”
Is the future brighter for Barcelona?
While Barca have been forced to part with Messi and Griezmann, among others, Laporta is confident that building blocks are being put in place that will allow a brighter future to be constructed at Camp Nou.
He added: “The reduction [of the expenditure] is important, [as] we have gone from 110 to 80 per cent.
“I want to congratulate the executives and the financial department of Barcelona for their work, and all those who have worked tirelessly and extraordinarily.
“And we have some heroes in [Gerard] Pique, [Jordi] Alba, [Sergio] Busquets and we will seal [the deal with] Sergi Roberto.
“What they have done is admirable. They are committed to the club, to the members. It is admirable. And we will continue with other players, such as [Samuel] Umtiti and others from the first team. We are in a process that is not easy