Barca Pres Laporta says club's finances in worse shape than thought

BARCELONA, Aug 6 (Reuters) - FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta said on Friday that a recent audit had shown the club’s finances were in worse shape than previously thought.

“We cannot put the institution at greater risk,” he told a news conference held to discuss the departure of star player Lionel Messi.

Since Laporta took over as Barca president, the club has been trying to reduce its wage bill to stay within La Liga’s strict financial control rules.

La Liga had said last month that Barcelona, which has a total debt of more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), would not be shown any leniency. (Reporting by Joseph Walker, Nathan Allen and Joan Faus; Writing by Hugh Lawson)