Last updated : 08 August 2004 By Editor

A statement from the family read:

"We are tired of hearing and reading comments from Josep Colomer (director of youth at Barca) and Sandro Rosell (vice-president of the Barca) who claim that Gerard went for economic reasons and was a traitor to Barcelona.

"Gerard Pique accepted the proposal of Mr Colomer with only two modifications, to reduce the length of the contract from seven to six years and exclude an option for Barca to extend the deal at the end of the contract.

"The directors would not accept any modification to the initial proposal and this and nothing else was the cause of Gerard leaving this great club.

"Gerard has been treated as a mercenary and not the person that he is. For the last six months not a single director has had the dignity to say a word to the player.

"Gerard's dream has always been to triumph as a footballer at the Nou Camp. "If president Joan Laporta is looking for players who are committed to the club then he can be convinced that he has lost one."