MADRID, Feb 15 — La Liga president Javier Tebas believes other Premier League clubs in addition to Manchester City are guilty of breaching financial regulations.
The outspoken Spanish football chief continued to rail against a potential European Super League, insisting it was a way for a select few clubs to control football.
English champions Man City were charged earlier in February with more than 100 breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules after a four-year investigation.
City said they were “surprised” by the league’s charges, with potential punishments including a possible expulsion from the top-flight.
Tebas considers other sides in the Premier League are also guilty of similar offences, speaking after a January transfer window in which English clubs spent heavily.
Chelsea broke the British transfer record by signing Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for €121 million (RM571 million), while English teams’ spending accounted for nearly 80 per cent of all the top five European leagues’ January business.
“I criticised Manchester City (in 2017), saying everything that now it looks like they are going to continue to investigate,” Tebas told AFP in Madrid.
“I said it then in 2017, so what surprises me is that it takes so long to make this kind of decision, because we are talking about facts from as far back as 2010.
“This is the problem you have in football, that when you detect a problem, some cheating, in this economic case it takes so long to react.”
Tebas does not think the charges will herald a new era of financial control in England.
“I am sceptical because I know that it is not only Manchester City that have similar problems,” he said.
“There are other Premier League clubs that have also breached their financial regulations and the league is not acting as it should have been acting for years in this respect.”
La Liga’s chief criticised the English top flight and insisted that a potential European Super League would not be a clever way of competing with its riches.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus attempted to launch a Super League project in April 2021 with nine other clubs, including six Premier League sides, but the project fell apart in a few days amid heavy criticism from fans, football governing bodies and governments.
Last week A22 Sports Management, a company promoting the Super League, published a statement after talks with football stakeholders, suggesting a multi-division Super League could be created.
A22 said feedback they received suggested 60 to 80 clubs should be included in an open format based on “sporting merit”.
“They aren’t transparent and they aren’t transparent because they don’t want a transparent football, they want a football run only by big clubs,” said Tebas.
The 60-year-old dismissed the idea that the Premier League is a de facto Super League, an argument used by some in favour of a European Super League to rival it.
“When the Super League says that the Premier League is a Super League, they are wrong, it is a super-trap, it is super-debt, it is super-losses of clubs every season, that is what the Premier League has become,” continued Tebas.
“If it was exclusively commercial what was happening in the Premier League, we as leagues would not have much to say because the difference would be two to one, in terms of our business numbers, they could spend double on signings, but they couldn’t spend 20 times more, which they are doing in the recent markets, because they are injecting money at a loss.”
“The Premier League is not the Super League, it’s the super-trap, the super-loss that we have to avoid in the ecosystem of European football too.”
La Liga’s chief believes a European Super League would spell financial doom for the continent’s football ecosystem.
“This would destroy the sporting system that we have created over many years in European sport, but at the same time it would mean not only the sporting but also the economic destruction of the entire European ecosystem,” he explained.
The European Court of Justice’s initial, non-binding opinion upheld Uefa and Fifa’s right to block new competitions being created, with the final ruling expected to arrive in the spring.
Even if the ruling goes against the interests of the existing European leagues, Tebas insists they will not surrender.
“If the resolution is not very favourable, for us there are still a lot of political battles to fight,” he warned. — AFP