This is more dangerous than Super League

By Tony Attwood

According to an article in Le Matin the Spanish Football League has filed a complaint in relation to Erling Haaland’s transfer to Manchester City during the past week, and is about to file another such complaint against Kylian Mbappé’s extension of his contract with Paris Saint Germain “this week”.  This is according to the President of the league (Javier Tabas) speaking this week.  

“I’m not defending Real Madrid against Mbappé, I want to preserve European football,” Tebas explained at a press event in Valladolid, in north west Spain. “This week we are going to file a complaint against PSG, and last week we filed one against Manchester City,” said the man who is effectively the boss of LaLiga.

Javier Tabas is one of the most outspoken critics of what are known in much of Europe (but noteably not in England) as the state-financed clubs, namely Qatar for Paris SG and the United Arab Emirates for Manchester City. (If we used this phrase in England we would of course also add Newcastle United who are funded by Saudi Arabia.  I guess we don’t use that phrase in England because the media don’t want to get the wrong side of the state-financed clubs for fear of losing their rights for tickets to the games. 

Mr Tabas accuses these two clubs of deviating from the Uefa financial fair play rules and as a result unbalancing the sporting and economic competition between the clubs.

“More dangerous than the Super League”

Manchester City bought Haaland from Borussia Dortmund for 75 million euros, a sum corresponding to the Norwegian’s release clause, but with the agent’s commissions and the player’s salary the transfer will cost the Qatar financed club almost 300 million euros.

While Manchester City escaped sanction via the Court of Arbitration in Sport when it failed to act in reasonable time in bringing forth evidence against the club over the last round of Financial Fair Play contraventions, now the Spanish club is doing the work that the League should be doing in England, but won’t,

It is reported in Europe that Mbappé’s new contract at PSG will see the French club pay, according to the media in Europe which tends to be more interested in this sort of thing that the media in England, between 40 and 50 million euros per year for the player’s salary alone, who has extended three additional years with the French club.

“Allowing these transfers to go ahead is more dangerous than allowing the Super League, to exist” Mr Tebas announced.  While most of England seems to have forgotten about Super League and is now pretending that it never happened, it still rankles in Europe where in the latest move, after an order from a Madrid court to ban Uefa from taking any disciplinary action against Barcelona, Juventus, and Real Madrid, Uefa announced that it had abandoned its proceedings against the three clubs, and would not request payment of the sums offered by the nine other founding clubs.

So having walked away from that fight, there is anger in other quarters that Uefa has simply given up on Financial Fair Play.  But whereas clubs in England seem just to have shrugged their collective shoulders concerning Manchester City’s expenditure across the past 10 years this is not happening in Europe, even though Uefa seem to have given up  the fight.

Mbappé’s new contract at PSG will see the French club pay, according to the media in Europe between 40 and 50 million euros per year in terms of salary across the next three years.

“Allowing these operations is more dangerous than the Super League,” said Javier Tebas Medrano, the Spanish lawyer who is now serving his third term as president of Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional, the association responsible for administering Spain’s two professional football leagues.

“PSG will end up with losses of 200 million euros, on top of the 300 million they already have with this contract.”

But Uefa have, since their ludicrous defeat in the Court of Arbitration in Sport have given up on the fight, as confirmed by Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin, saying, “For me, it is not correct that one League criticizes another.  From what I know, Real’s offer for Mbappé was similar to PSG’s,” which is probably the most pathetic argument in favour of unbridled spending and breaking of the FFP laws ever.

If I steal valuable jewellery from my neighbour’s house, and my neighbour then steals money from the house next door to him, we are both thieves and deserve punishment.  One crime does not excuse another.

There’s not much about this in the UK media; thank goodness the Europeans are still considering the rights and wrong of football.


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