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Ex-Barcelona presidential candidate claims club 'failed' Lionel Messi & slams Laporta for financial practices

21:31 GMT+3 27/12/2022
victor font barcelona
Former Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font hit out at Joan Laporta, claiming that the president should have treated Lionel Messi better.
  • Suggested Messi could still be a Barca player
  • Criticised "lever" system
  • Lost election by 15,000 votes 18 months ago

WHAT HAPPENED? Font asserted that Laporta mistreated Messi, and that Barcelona could have build the team around the 36-year-old. He also suggested that Laporta's controversial "levers" policy has damaged the long-term future of the club's finances.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Barca have not lived up to the historical dimension of the figure of Messi," Font said. "Let us hope that we can take perspective and make a proper analysis of everything. And that the conclusions also help us understand that, also in the world of emotions, good will, barbecues and determination are not enough."

In addition, Font took aim at Laporta's financial management of the club, saying "the so-called levers have been closed without a plan, quickly and running , and they do not help the club's assets grow."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi somewhat reluctantly left Barcelona in 2021 after the club couldn't afford to sign him to a new contract. Since then, Laporta has aimed to restructure the club's finances while also remaining competitive, selling off media and other assets for short-term liquidity.

Laporta has pointed out that he hopes Messi can finish his career as a Barcelona player — although he admitted it's unlikely. He won Barcelona's presidential election in 2021, beating Font by over 25 percentage points.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR FONT? Font has remained close to Barca since losing the presidential race, but whether he will run again remains to be seen.