FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been calm for the most part whenever he faces the press to speak about the club's financial situation and Lionel Messi's massively delayed contract renewal. However, former football player Pedro Riesco thinks that the situation is much worse than what Laporta has been letting on.

Riesco is surprised by Laporta's constant reassurances that everything is going well behind the scenes. Messi has become a free agent after the club failed to come to an agreement with him by June 30, and now it seems that they won't be able to register him even if he agrees to sign a contract extension. All of this is because the Catalan giants have still been unable to free up enough space in their wage bill to go within the allowable salary cap of La Liga Santander's financial fair play regulations.

"I am surprised by the calmness with which Laporta talks about Messi, as if Messi were still a Barcelona player," Riesco said, during an interview with Radio MARCA. He then went on to say that Messi is not even the biggest issue that the club is facing. The problem is, they already signed deals with other players, and have so far been unable to register them due to the same fair play issue.

"For me the most serious thing that is happening to Barcelona is that they can't register the players they have signed, [Sergio] Aguero, [Memphis] Depay..."

It may be remembered that the club moved quickly on the incoming signings, adding Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal to the roster apart form Aguero and Depay. They have also recently added three new youth players.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has made it clear that he stands by the rules, and he does not think that Barcelona deserves to be given any leeway even if it is for Messi. Tebas said in a previous interview that La Liga can survive without Messi, as proven by the departures of other big stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr.

If a deal with Messi can't be finalised, Barcelona will also be dealt with a big blow to their incoming earnings, owing to the fact that the Argentine is responsible for a large chunk of the club's revenue from sponsorships and merchandise sales.

That means their budget will be even smaller, and they will be left with a major dilemma on what to do with players that they can't register.

The club is now being criticised for being aggressive with the signings without making much headway in their sales department.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi AFP / LLUIS GENE