May 22 – LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who first applied the phrase “financial doping” to football to describe how the likes of Manchester City and Paris St Germain allegedly attempt to flout UEFA’s financial fair play rules, is back on the attack, repeating his stance that both should be kicked out of European competitions if found guilty of violations.
Tebas says City and PSG, both backed by Middle East owners, are merely “state-run … playthings” who are damaging European football and “ruining the entire system.”
Tebas spoke at the Financial Times’ Business of Football summit and used the opportunity to pursue his relentless vendetta against the two clubs.
“The problem with PSG and City is they’re state-run clubs: one of petrol money, one of gas,” he said.
Off the field dark clouds hang over English treble winners City in terms of whether they will actually be allowed to take part in next season’s Champions League. The Abu Dhabi-owned club have been referred by UEFA to an independent judicial chamber following an investigation into alleged breaches of FFP regulations.
City have denied any wrongdoing and seem certain to try and delay any verdict by going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if they are found guilty.
But Tebas is in no doubt where the blame lies.
“There are clubs who could not care less what their real incomes are when they want to sign a player because they receive incomes from a state. It forces other clubs into an economic situation which is really living on the edge. It skews the balance of the entire European football structure.
“This is no longer sport. This is no longer an industry. It becomes more like a toy, the plaything of a state. And when it’s a plaything, kids start playing with other kids. You end up ruining the entire system.”
“The damage happening on Euro football is massive because they are inflating the market so clubs have to pay ridiculous sums to keep their players.”
Tebas also criticised English clubs for being “dishonest” because they had not revealed their support for a radical overhaul of the Champions League being discussed between UEFA and the European Clubs Association and due to come into effect in 2024.
“This is not a joke what is going on right now. And English fans need to know what every club thinks about this. Because the history of English football and its clubs is in danger. We need to be much more transparent about a Super League.”
He also believes that new format being discussed will ultimately fail because fans will get fed up with its elitist concept.
“I would also like to say that the Super League model the ECA and UEFA are proposing right now, after 10-15 years it will fail. Because it lacks respect for the domestic component of the system they have created. National leagues have a culture of dozens of years of rivalries between clubs so it’s going to create a disconnect with fans.”
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