'Letting Lionel Messi leave was a bad decision,' claims former Barcelona president

Arjun Singh Devgan
Josep Maria Bartomeu is a former Barcelona president
Josep Maria Bartomeu is a former Barcelona president / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Former Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu has opened up on the workings of the current president, Joan Laporta and on the departure of Lionel Messi in the summer, claiming that letting the Argentinian leave was a "bad decision".

Bartomeu was widely criticised for his handling of the club during his presidency, though the man himself has defended his management and handling of the Catalan giants.

"They let Messi leave and that seems like a bad decision to me. Playing without Messi shows that a lot of things have to change. As president, I didn't want Messi to leave and I did everything I could to prevent it from happening," he said as quoted by Marca.

"Nobody from my board put their hand into the till. You can't hide that, and after so many months we would have known by now. Nothing came out in the audit nor when they did their due diligence. They can do whatever they want."

The former president was the one who appointed Ronald Koeman as the manager and he reiterated that the Dutchman remains the right man for the job.

"He's prepared. You have to be patient to allow him to build a team without the best player in the world. I think the squad have a lot of talent, especially young talent."