Laporta said in a press conference he was not prepared “to put the club at risk” by renewing Messi’s contract, with Barca facing huge financial problems ahead of the start of LaLiga.
“Yesterday we realised it was over. I had the last conversation with Leo’s father, said Laporta.
Messi reached an agreement with Barcelona to sign a reported five-year contract but with the trade-off that he would earn 50 per cent less per year.
But LaLiga’s financial fair play rules, which are expected to reduce Barca’s salary limit to less than 200 million euros this season, led Laporta to conclude they were unable to complete the deal.
“We could not accommodate Messi’s contract,” said Laporta, who was re-elected as club president in March.
“The situation we have inherited is abominable and the sports salary bill represents 110 per cent of the club’s income. We have no margin for salaries.
“LaLiga’s rules set limitations and we have no margin. We knew the situation since we arrived but the numbers we have seen are even worse than we thought.”