LaLiga chief attacks Manchester City’s ‘financial doping’
Javier Tebas takes a second cut at City and PSG by saying they are “ruining football”
LaLiga president Javier Tebas says Uefa must act to stop the ‘financial doping’ of teams like Manchester City. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
LaLiga president Javier Tebas has reignited his feud with Manchester City while at the same time dismissing claims his criticism of the club was due to a racially-motivated dislike of Arabs.
City’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, responding to Tebas’ scathing claims that the club and Paris St Germain were “ruining football” with the income they received from petrol and gas and should be kicked out of the Champions League, suggested Tebas and the Spanish league were “jealous” of their success.
There have been suggestions Tebas’ initial attack had anti-Arab undertones.
That was put to Tebas at a Q&A in Madrid ahead of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham and his response was unequivocal.
“I am not at all racist, I have no issues about ethnicity,” said Tebas.
“How can I be racist if two of my grandchildren are Arab? I would be a racist against my own grandchildren!
“That just shows the ignorance and how easy it is to say things without knowing all the details and people’s background.
“You are talking about ethnicity, it’s not true.”
Tebas then continued his attack.
City, who strenuously deny any wrongdoing, face a possible season-long Champions League ban if Uefa find them guilty of breaking Financial Fair Play regulations.
“I think there is a lot of ignorance about certain things, firstly about how financial control works in European football and ignorance in regards to financial doping,” Tebas added.
“It’s not the first time I’ve spoken about it. Jealous? That is not true. Man City are pending a sanction and that is also related to sponsorship.”
Tebas, who spoke for over an hour on a variety of subjects from television revenue to LaLiga’s hopes of hosting a league match in the United States, also blasted proposed changes to the Champions League.
Plans have been mooted to involve more teams and introduce promotion and relegation across a number of divisions.
It is a plan Tebas will oppose and he believes he has the support of the majority of Europe’s big leagues and virtually all of the minor ones.
“The big clubs want to change the competition so they can get more money so they are able to compete with this phenomena (of City and PSG),” he said.
“At the moment it is a very dangerous change to a new competition. In my opinion it is absolutely lethal for professional football in Europe, the big leagues and the small leagues.
“It will kill off all the domestic TV revenues for smaller clubs
“European leagues are against these reforms. The clubs, leagues, Uefa and the players have to sit down and decide what to do with this industry and how to prevent the money ending up in the hands of big players and big clubs.
“We carried out a study and that would be a disaster. I think there will have to be a rethink as to what has to be done.”