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City, PSG ‘a danger football hasn’t seen before’: La Liga chief

Javier Tebas, president of La Liga, has criticised Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain © AFP/File / Khalil MAZRAAWI

LONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 6La Liga president Javier Tebas says Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain represent “a danger that football has not seen before” as he stepped up his attacks on the big-spending superpowers.

Tebas, who has strongly criticised City before, said the money pumped into the Premier League champions and Ligue 1 winners PSG by their Abu Dhabi and Qatar-based owners had distorted the football landscape.

“The state clubs are a new phenomenon and present a danger that football has not seen before,” he told the Totally Football Show podcast.

“They are operating entirely outside of the rules and risk inflating markets to disastrous levels through their financial doping.”

City are under investigation by UEFA over alleged financial violations and the 57-year-old Spanish league chief called on the European game’s governing body to take a stronger lead in controlling the issue.

“The governors of European football need to show a much stronger commitment to healthy domestic football,” he said.

“This would include stricter financial controls that limit state clubs like Manchester City or PSG from vastly outspending their rivals and it would also include much firmer Financial Fair Play penalties, which have been a very weak deterrent up to this point.

“A state-run club would be totally against our financial rules in Spain. Any investor that wants to come into La Liga has to agree to our financial controls and we would not allow any investor that would create debt or inflate the market. We would not allow it to happen.”

Tebas acknowledged Europe’s biggest clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid from his own league, had always flexed their financial muscles.

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But he is adamant the threat posed by City and PSG’s wealth is potentially more damaging as transfer fees have been inflated by their vast spending.

“Barcelona and Real Madrid have never received state support and have always been run in a financially responsible way,” he said.

“Big clubs have always existed across Europe and it is true they can create distortion if there are no financial controls in place.

“In the case of Spain, we have spent the past years reducing levels of debt to historic lows and we do not want our biggest clubs to have more money if others do not.”

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