La Liga President Javier Tebas is set to report the Premier League to UEFA for ‘unsustainable spending.’ The 60-year-old football administrator has been highly vocal about clubs that overspend, arguing that they threaten European football.
Javier Tebas has pulled another stunt as he lashes at clubs and football leagues in Europe that allegedly shortchanged the rule by overspending and undermining Financial Fair Play Rules at ease.
Tebas has reportedly reiterated his resolve to lodge a complaint against the Premier League for overspending in the just concluded 2022 summer transfer window. Tebas accused the English Premier League of what he called ‘unsustainable spending’ and ‘causing transfer inflation, which if left unchecked will ‘endanger the sport.’
Tebas position and advocacy for curtailed spending by clubs is not a new development. He has been a staunch advocate of the Financial Fair Play Rules and had no scruples blasting clubs that he alleged have violated the rule.
Tebas has particularly described Manchester City and PSG as ‘big problems.’ The La Liga Chief Executive referred to them as super clubs backed by billionaires, who cared less whether they were losing money or not. According to him, these clubs are threatening the game because apart from being a sport, football is also an industry; powerful and billionaire state actors, with money to spend, can overtake the industry and muffle competition which is not good for the game.
“The problem of teams like PSG and Manchester City is the big problem of European football. Why? Because they have companies backing them that don’t care if they lose money,” Tebas said.
In recent years, PSG and Manchester City have witnessed an incredible rise due to the huge funds invested by their rich and powerful owners in the club. Although Uefa has been keeping an eye on these clubs, Tebas has argued that the football governing body is not doing enough.
Recall that the La Liga lost Lionel Messi to PSG after it was evident they could not keep the superstar without running into collisions with La Liga’s Financial Fair Play Rules. Tebas has not only been vocal but has kept an eagle eye on La Liga clubs’ spending cap.
How Much Do Premier League Clubs Spend?
According to reports, the Premier League spent £2bn on new signings in the just-concluded summer transfer window. This was almost five times La Liga’s net spending on new signings in the transfer market. Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham, Nottingham Forests, and Wolves all top list of biggest Premier League spenders in the summer transfer window. The English topflight net spend stood at £1183m while La Liga’s net spend stood at £45.8m.
This has angered Javier Tebas, who insisted that such whopping amounts expended in the transfer marker is unsustainable and trigger inflation in transfer fees in Europe. Tebas is fearful that such spending by the Premier League is dangerous for the game and has reportedly begun filing a report to UEFA to commence investigations and take necessary disciplinary measures
“Premier League revenues are 1.8 times more than LaLiga or Bundesliga, but this negative amount is 20 times more than the Spanish league, which has very good financial control,” he said.
Tebas also pinpointed Manchester City again while spotting contradictions in the Premier League as a whole.
He said: ”Something doesn’t make sense there, so what’s happening? There are a lot of checkbooks coming out from clubs like Manchester City that sign a certain amount of players. Even the Championship lost €3bn over five years. The contributions of capital from club owners from Premier League clubs to compensate losses compared to LaLiga.
“There were €277m in capital increases in La Liga. €2376m in Premier League, which are contributions and loans provided. In the Championship it was €1385m. It would be normal if they signed twice as many players but they have spent much more than even that. This can only be possible if the owners get out their checkbooks and these are different models.”
Tebas admitted that the game had changed so far with huge sums of money sunk in by investors, but he argued if they are not checked, it may spiral out of control and endanger the game.
“The football industry has changed and there’s much more money”, he said. “If there’s no control then we could endanger the industry itself. The two competitions that are the most sustainable are LaLiga and the Bundesliga and we have to really fight for sustainability.”
Tebas has been strict in handling the La Liga when enforcing spending caps on clubs. Barcelona were forced to liquidate some of its assets if it was to register its new signings. The 60-year-old is unyielding in his attempt to ensure that similar measures are taken across European Leagues, with the Premier League already on his radar. He is reportedly complaining about the UEFA to that effect.