FC Barcelona have been busy signing players this summer, despite the fact that they are already way over the salary cap allowed by La Liga Santander. During the presentation of Emerson Royal at the Camp Nou earlier this week, club president Joan Laporta said that La Liga should be more flexible in order to allow them to re-sign Lionel Messi before the summer transfer window ends.

La Liga's financial fair play regulations dictate how much a club can spend per season based on the revenues that they are able to bring in. It is a well-known fact that Barcelona is over a billion euros in debt, and the novel coronavirus pandemic choked their income streams even further.

As it stands, they need to slash approximately 200 million euros from their wage bill in order to register their four new signings, namely Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Emerson. Note that once those players are registered, the club still needs to free up even more space in the salary cap to accommodate Lionel Messi, even if the Argentine has reportedly agreed to a 50% pay cut.

Laporta has assured the public that there will be no problem when it comes to the players that they have already signed. "The players that we're signing within the parameters of financial fair play can all be registered," Laporta said during Emerson's presentation, as quoted by Marca.

He then casually mentioned that La Liga should follow the example of other leagues, claiming that others have made adjustments to financial regulations to help teams. "We'd like more flexibility from La Liga if possible, like other leagues across the continent have done for teams. Then, we could sign some more players," he said.

He then went on to emphasise how big of a star Messi is, and how his presence can benefit the league. "We all want Messi to be in La Liga because he's a global superstar and attracts fans and his presence helps La Liga. I share the words of the Getafe president [who said La Liga should be more flexible]," he added.

However, La Liga president Javier Tebas said earlier this summer that the league will play by the rules. He also explained that he does not feel that any player is bigger than La Liga itself. He mentioned the likes of superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr., stating that La Liga remains strong after their respective exits to other leagues.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi has been busy enjoying his summer break in Ibiza with former Barcelona teammates Luis Suarez and Cesc Fabregas and their families.

Laporta remains confident that Messi wants to stay at the Camp Nou, but the club needs to sort out its finances quickly. It remains to be seen if La Liga will make any concessions, and if other clubs will accept the outcome.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi AFP / JOSE JORDAN