La Liga president Javier Tabas had strong words for Paris Saint-Germain’s signing of Neymar:
“We’ve caught [PSG] peeing in the swimming pool and Neymar is peeing off the diving board,” he said during a press conference at the Soccerex Global Convention.
On Monday it was revealed that Tabas had written UEFA to request an investigation into whether or not PSG violated Financial Fair Play (FFP).
According to The Guardian, Tabas elaborated on his reasons during his press conference.
Tabas argued that clubs backed by gas and oil money artificially inflate the transfer market and make it difficult for smaller clubs to remain stable.
He said La Liga had assembled data that proved PSG, Manchester City, and Chelsea had all used their owners’ oil or gas-backed assets to create artificially high revenues in order to stay in compliance with FFP.
Manchester City issued a statement denying Tabas’s allegations and threatening possible legal action.
Tabas stressed that he did not object to state ownership of clubs. For him, “[t]he problem is when the income they report to cover their costs is not real.”
He later added, “PSG earns more from sponsorships than Manchester United does and that’s impossible. That’s financial doping and it’s destroying the industry.”
PSG are owned by Qatar Sports Investments. The club had seven Qatari sponsors last year.
Manchester City are owned by Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. Manchester City have many sponsors from the UAE.
Both City and PSG have been sanctioned for FFP violations in the past. Manchester City have avoided the type of scrutiny that currently plagues PSG because of their membership in the Premier League. Teams in the Premier League receive huge broadcast revenues. Teams from Ligue Un, where PSG plays, do not.
Tebas suggested that the La Liga system, which functions somewhat like a salary cap, be introduced across Europe. He also said he would consider escalating his case to Brussels if UEFA do not act.
He also dismissed the notion that La Liga was being hypocritical. Tebas acknowledged that Spanish teams have received government loans in the past, but also noted that clubs have been relegated for receiving “illegal” state aid.