Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has suggested that he is “pleased” that Lionel Messi is staying with Barcelona in the “dreadful” La Liga.
Ahead of this summer, Messi was linked with a move away from Barcelona as his contract was set to expire. Manchester City were among the sides said to be interested in him.
The Argentinian forward has now extended his contract at the Spanish giants for a further five years.
“I don’t want our league to be turned into the Harlem Globetrotters or a replication of the Galácticos mentality,” Jordan said.
“The facts of the matters is if you get Lionel Messi now, he’s not the Messi you would have wanted to have seen. It’s like Floyd Mayweather fighting Manny Pacquiao when he did. It was a good fight but it wasn’t the fight we wanted to see.
“I’m not sad to not see him rock up here. I’m not sad to see the mentality of this enormous salary be brought into the Premier League so our poor underpaid Premier League stars can say ‘hang on a second by that level, we’re underpaid’.
“So I’m pleased he’s staying with Barcelona. I’m pleased he’s staying in that dreadful Spanish league where they have the audacity to point a finger at our league and say that we break the transfer records.”
Before Messi signed a new deal at Barcelona, La Liga president Javier Tebas suggested that it would be “financial doping” had Man City or PSG signed the forward:
“He won’t be able to sign on the previous conditions, that’s impossible,” Tebas said.
“Man City have lost €270m [during the pandemic] so obviously they wouldn’t even consider signing Messi [on his previous salary]. PSG have had losses, too, so they can’t even consider signing Messi [for that much].
“If they do, it will be financial doping. It would be incredible if it happened. We need to establish limits. Financial doping is damaging football.
“It’s not real money because it’s not generated by the clubs. Money not from football causes bad inflation and ruins football because clubs must put in all this effort [to compete], which takes them above their financial capacity.
“We have to fight against this. This is one of the pending issues in European football. If it’s not solved, the game will find itself in a very complicated situation.