Javier Tebas: UEFA Must Do More to Limit Spending of 'State Clubs' Like Man City

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 03: Javier Tebas, president of La Liga de Futbol profesional (President of the Spanish Professional Football league) poses for a portrait at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on June 03, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

La Liga President Javier Tebas has called on UEFA to do more to tackle the spending by "state clubs" like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. 

In 2009, UEFA introduced Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations in an attempt to regulate spending by some of the wealthiest teams in European football. 

City, who were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group a year before FFP was created, and PSG, who were taken over by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, have been two of the highest spenders in the game since. Per The Totally Football Show (h/t Reuters, via the MailOnline), Tebas said these clubs have taken part in "financial doping":

"State clubs...present a danger that football hasn't seen before. They're operating entirely outside of the rules and risk inflating markets to disastrous levels through their financial doping.

"The governors of European football need to show a much stronger commitment to healthy domestic football. This would include stricter financial controls that limit state clubs like City or PSG from vastly outspending rivals...it would include firmer FFP penalties, which have been a very weak deterrent up to this point."

Tebas added in the top flight in Spain, regulations would prevent the transfer market being inflated or debt being placed onto clubs. "Barcelona and Madrid have never received state support and have always been run in a financially responsible way," he added.

In response to the comments from Tebas, Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News said City's owner is Sheikh Mansour and as of yet nobody has "come up with any evidence that they are owned by Abu Dhabi, rather than an individual from the emirate."

In June, City lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against allegations made by UEFA that they breached FFP rules. The Premier League champions were previously fined £49 million for breaking regulations in 2014.

Per The Spanish Football Podcast, while there may not be "state clubs" in Spain, the teams in La Liga have spent a massive amount on new acquisitions in the current window:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

Griezmann and De Jong at Barça. Hazard, Jovic, Mendy, Militao at Real Madrid. Joao Félix, Llorente, Trippier... at Atleti. Maxi Gómez and Cillessen at Valencia. Literally NINE new players at Sevilla. Odegaard, Isak, Portu.. at Real Sociedad. @LaLigaEN 2019/20 is going to be FUN.

The comments are not the first of their kind made by Tebas, as in May he said the spending by City and PSG had inflated the market to make it tougher for other teams to secure transfer targets. 

In response to those claims, City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said Tebas was "jealous" and accused him of "hypocrisy," pointing to the world-record transfers paid for by Real Madrid of Luis Figo in 2000 and Zinedine Zidane in 2001 as being catalysts for market inflation.

City and PSG have dominated their respective domestic divisions in recent years, although neither have been able to translate that stranglehold at home into European success. Ahead of the 2019-20 season, both sides are seeking to qualify for their first UEFA Champions League final.