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Javier Tebas Criticises Financial 'Doping' in Dig at PSG, Manchester City

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2020

LISBON, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 05: Javier Tebas President of La Liga talks during Day 1 of Soccerex Europe Convention at Tagus Park on September 5, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

La Liga President Javier Tebas has issued a thinly veiled dig at Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain for financial "doping." 

Tebas spoke at the launch of La Liga TV and suggested football's governing bodies need to do more to redistribute wealth in the game.

Per Goal's Sean Wilson, he said:

"One of the major issues in European football is related to [financial] doping. Because when we have clubs being financed by states, then that has an impact on salaries.

"That means in other countries with more strict economic controls like Spain and Germany clubs cannot actually ask the state for extra financing to pay those salaries.

"Organisations and institutions have a responsibility to redistribute the wealth that we generate. All of us, the Spanish league, the Premier League, UEFA, FIFA. I don't think we are helping football in any way if we generate wealth and it just goes straight back to the big clubs."

Tebas has repeatedly hit out at City and PSG following the latter's purchase of Neymar from Barcelona in 2017.

The former are owned by Sheikh Mansour, a member of the United Arab Emirates royal family. PSG are owned by Qatar Sports Investments.

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Last year, the clubs ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in Deloitte's Money League, per Tariq Panja of the New York Times:

tariq panja @tariqpanja

Manchester City 5, and PSG 6 in the Deloitte money league today. Commercial/sponsorships represent almost 60% of PSG’s revenue, and almost 50 % of City’s. Several of those deals linked to Gulf regimes that fund them, and reportedly at inflated prices. https://t.co/JalUz5XQQU

They were fifth and sixth again this year, albeit having swapped positions with one another:

Ornella D. Bellia @DesireeBellia

#Deloitte Football Money League 2020 ⚽️📊💰 💰➡️ The ”TOP 20” clubs generated a record of €9.3bn (11% increase). 💰➡️ #FCBarcelona becomes the first club to break €800 m revenue barrier ⚽️➡️ 8 English clubs ⚽️➡️ 4 Italian club ⚽️➡️ 3 Spanish /3 German ⚽️➡️ 2 French clubs https://t.co/APjsIx0mWK

Their income has allowed them to invest unprecedented sums in building their squads:

CIES Football Obs @CIES_Football

First billion euro squad in football history: @ManCity invested an estimated €1.014 bn in transfer fees (add-ons included) to sign current players; @PSG_inside (€913M) & @realmadrid (€902M) not that far; more in last @CIES_Football Weekly Post ➡️ https://t.co/FArDQRyXFj https://t.co/hVrBAKDkpp

Unsurprisingly, both have enjoyed a great deal of success as a result.

QSI became majority shareholders in PSG in 2011. Since then, they've won six of the eight Ligue 1 titles available and 16 other domestic honours. For four seasons running between 2014 and 2018, they won all three of the Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophee des Champions.

City have more competition in England given the wealth and resources of their rivals, but they've also won plenty of silverware since Mansour's Abu Dhabi United Group bought them in 2008.

They've won the Premier League title on four occasions, more than any other team in that time. Last season's title was part of a domestic treble, unprecedented in men's football in England. The FA Cup last season was the second they've won under Mansour, while the League Cup was their fourth.

In 2018, German outlet Der Spiegel published allegations based on Football Leaks documentation that both City and PSG have sought to circumvent UEFA's financial fair play regulations:

Nick Harris @sportingintel

Leaked papers also show UEFA inspectors found Man City "had hidden 35 million euros in costs from UEFA"; and some Abu Dhabi commercial deals were 80% inflated. PSG and City both threatened UEFA legal action. Gianni Infantino (then at UEFA) did deal to go soft

Both clubs have denied wrongdoing.

City are being investigated by UEFA as a result of the allegations and in November lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have the investigation halted. In March, PSG won their appeal to CAS to have an investigation into their finances following Neymar's transfer shut down.

Despite their resources, neither has managed to earn success in Europe. PSG are yet to make it to the semi-finals since their takeover, while City have reached that stage once.

La Liga, meanwhile, have been the dominant force in Europe over the last decade.

Last season's UEFA Champions League final was the first time since 2013 that Spain did not have at least one finalist, as Real Madrid and Barcelona had won the previous five. In the UEFA Europa League, six of the last 10 winners have been from La Liga.

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