Barcelona president Joan Laporta has described Lionel Messi’s epochal departure as “sad, but it was necessary”.
Messi, 34, joined Paris Saint-Germain last week in a seismic free transfer after serious financial issues ensured the Catalans could not extend his historic 21-year stay.
“We’re convinced that we have taken the decisions that needed to be taken,” said Laporta.
“The Messi issue is sad, but it was necessary. Because the institution is above everything.
“We would have put ourselves in a lot of risk. It’s a dramatic situation.
“There’s a solution, but it’s dramatic. If this happened later we would have had one or two more years of Messi, but we have the situation now.”
Barca beat Real Sociedad 4-2 this weekend in their first competitive match since Messi’s exit.