Laliga president Javier Tebas and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ran into a war of words after the Spaniard criticized the Laliga chief of not being able to manage the league as he should have. The Laliga chief responded on the same day on social media after Pep Guardiola criticised Laliga’s business model on Monday in an interview with Esports.
Javier Tebas publicly replied through his Twitter account to former Barcelona director Xavier Sala-i-Martin, who questioned LaLiga’s low income despite the Spanish teams’ recent successes in Europe. Manchester City coach said the Laliga president to learn from the Premier League.
What has Pep Guardiola said
Guardiola said: “There is better management in the Premier League, which is seen in Asia, from which Mr. Tebas could learn.”
“Perhaps he could sell the product better in other countries. People complain but thanks to these investments, people from other clubs in other countries can continue to do things.
“Perhaps it is the only business in which people who want to invest are frowned upon. I don’t understand it because this affects other clubs around the world.”
“There is United, City, Chelsea or Liverpool, economically strong clubs with owners who want to invest – many of them – like ours, who do not want any profit but to reinvest so that the club can continue to grow for the fans. What problem is there?
“Then there are always UEFA controls, like financial fair play. If the product is better sold and more is paid for television rights, Mr. Tebas, who knows more about everything than anyone else and is wiser than anyone and puts himself in the house of others, then let him learn.”
“Perhaps like this, Barca, Madrid, Atletico or Valencia will have more resources to make the investments they should make, and if we make a mistake, they will penalise us and we will not be able to play. But as it is not the case, each one does what they want.”
Javier Tebas’ reply
The Laliga chief Javier Tebas replied: “Pep, I learn from the Premier League every day. It would be good if they teach you a little about football macroeconomics, about the impacts of state clubs on wage inflation, demographics, the impact of pay TV, and of the acquittal in CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sports) we will have news.”
“In recent years we have reduced the distance with the Premier League despite the fact that LaLiga has sold its television rights centrally for only seven years, compared to the Premier’s 30 [years],” wrote Tebas
“In addition, the UK has twenty million more inhabitants than Spain. We grow every year.
“Our clubs have been profiting for seven years. You have to worry more about the City Group, which has accumulated a billion in losses in recent seasons.
“They are not investors. They are money destroyers who create inflation. Would you have won so many titles without economic doping?”
Javier Tebas has faced resistance from Spain’s Football Federation (RFEF) and FIFA in his attempts to stage La Liga games in the United States. La Liga signed a 15-year marketing agreement with Relevant Sports to promote the sport in North America and expand its brand. The economic gap between La Liga and the Premier League has narrowed since Tebas took the helm of the Spanish top-flight in 2013.
City were temporarily banned from the UEFA Champions League for breaching FFP regulations in 2020 but the punishment was overturned by CAS upon appeal. Tebas claimed justice had not been done while Guardiola insisted the club’s funding was legitimate and questioned why football was the only business that would not welcome investment.
Javier Tebas recently warned FC Barcelona to reduce their wage bill in order to register new signings for the upcoming season. Barca’s wage bill grew even more after the signings of Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay were announced last month. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barca had the largest cap in Spain’s top flight in 2019-20 at €671 million. However, La Liga’s new limit for the 2020-21 season was €382.7m.
Lionel Messi’s contract with the club expired on June 30 and the Argentine is a free agent now. Messi is open to conduct talks with other clubs in Europe as his future with the Blaugrana’s remains uncertain. Messi is yet to sign a new contract with could see the Argentine playing for two more years. However, club president Joan Laporta is confident on signing the 34-year-old despite financial stress.