La Liga chief Javier Tebas says he has obligation to call out Man City and PSG for ‘rule breaches’


LaLiga president Javier Tebas has renewed his attack on Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain, accusing them of breaching financial fair play rules and threatening the future of European football.

Tebas pulled no punches as he disclosed details of the complaints LaLiga has filed with UEFA, claiming City and PSG have broken the rules and he had an ‘obligation’ to say it.

Tebas has been aggravated by Manchester City signing a £51million deal for Erling Haaland and PSG re-signing Kylian Mbappe on a three-year deal worth £650,000 a week. 

LaLiga boss Javier Tebas is convinced PSG and Man City are breaching financial fair play’

The outspoken Spaniard accused the two state-owned clubs of inflating sponsorship agreements, making payments overseas to hide costs and running up uncontrolled costs.

‘Normally, sponsorships… and maybe other transactions… they are not done at market value, or fair value, they are inflated value contracts,’ claimed Tebas, speaking to 400 representatives of the European Leagues and associated clubs in Amsterdam.

‘So they can try and fulfil the UEFA financial fair play.’ 

‘Secondly, they pay outside of the country where… the club is… They pay some players outside their country – in this particular case France and England. They take them to their own countries, so they are not part of the… financial control.

‘This means that they could be considered to abide by financial fair play, but these are expenses taken abroad to a different country and it is done via a sponsorship, or holding specific event. A certain player will go… to an event and be paid a very, very high amount.

‘The third way that is characteristic of these state-owned clubs are the losses. They just have high losses.’

Mbappe spurned advances from Real Madrid to sign a new deal at PSG

Haaland has joined Manchester City in a £51million deal

Deals for Kylian Mbappe (left) to stay at PSG and for Erling Haaland (right) to join Man City has seen LaLiga push ahead with plans to take legal action against them for financial performance

Tebas said LaLiga had filed complaints to UEFA in April, regarding Manchester City (and Juventus), and in June, with respect to PSG.

City have been reliant on entities based in owner Sheik Mansour’s home country of the UAE for some sponsorship deals.

PSG are owned by Qatar Sports Investments, who are backed by the Qatari government, and are led by the club’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

The Spanish league chief most recently launched an attack on the super-power clubs on Monday and he responded strongly now to suggestions that he was acting for the benefit of Spanish teams.

‘We are not doing this to defend the Spanish clubs because we have our own financial control that is very strict,’ he said. ‘We are doing this to ensure the UEFA football ecosystem is not endangered, because we think it is currently endangered.’

It is an ongoing theme for Tebas and LaLiga, which dates back to August 2017, when UEFA was first asked to open investigations into the French and English club.

UEFA closed its investigation into PSG in June 2018, but subsequently sought to reopen it. The French club appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, which decreed the initial decision to close the case was ‘final and binding’.

Following the 2017 complaint, UEFA found Manchester City in breach of financial fair play regulations and imposed a two-year Champions League ban but the CAS overturned the sanction.

‘These state-owned clubs are really damaging the football ecosystem. It is terrible damage. It is unfair competition. They are inflating the wage bill in Europe and they question the credibility of UEFA itself and financial control.’

Tebas claims both clubs have breached break-even rules, in part by overvaluing commercial contracts.

To support his point, he said commercial revenue at PSG was 65 per cent of total income, compared to an average of 45 per cent at other big European clubs and the annual wage bill topped £540M last year.

‘PSG have increased their wage bill an incredible amount during the Covid period…’ he added.

‘They will have a wage bill that is 600M euros (£541M) for this year 2021-22. It is totally impossible for that to be sustainable and of course that is without even including Mbappe.

Vincent Labrune, the president of the French league, blasted back at Tebas earlier this month

Vincent Labrune, the president of the French league, blasted back at Tebas earlier this month

‘It is obvious they are not fulfilling financial fair play rules. It is obvious we have to file complaints.’

PSG ‘refused to dignify’ Tebas’ latest outburst with a formal statement. Although one executive told Sportsmail: ‘The last person we’ll take lessons from is Javier Tebas. The first person who needs lessons on conflicts of interest, financial management and market distortion is Javier Tebas.’

And Ligue 1 chairman Vincent Labrune recently reminded Tebas that Real Madrid and Barcelona ‘had benefitted from illegal state aid’ and spend enormous sums on transfer fees and wages themselves.

Labrune said: ‘First, in relation to financial stability and sustainability, two of your clubs – Real Madrid and Barcelona – have broken a multitude of records in the past decade.

‘In terms of transfer fees, these two clubs have broken the world record six times. In terms of player salaries, Real Madrid currently has two of the highest-paid players in world football sat on their bench [Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard].

‘In terms of debt, Barcelona is reported to have a debt level of €1.5billion, and this is despite the European Court of Justice finding that Real Madrid and Barcelona benefitted from illegal state aid.

‘Over the past 10 years, LaLiga spent 32 per cent more on players than Ligue 1; and significantly more on foreign players outside your own league compared to Ligue 1.’



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