La Liga president Javier Tebas is preparing a report for UEFA in which he will lament the disparity in spending between the Premier League and various other European leagues after English teams spent more than 20 times more than their Spanish rivals during the summer transfer window.
Premier League sides shelled out nearly £2bn ($2.3bn) in transfer fees over the summer months, with Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez, Antony and Lisandro Martinez joining the top flight at great expense European clubs, while Chelsea’s summer spending of £273m ($317m) broke the world record for the most money spent by a single club in a transfer window.
Even newly-promoted Nottingham Forest have spent nearly £150m ($174m) – a sum that dwarfs the vast majority of Europe’s most traditionally powerful clubs, as 13 of the top 20 spending teams in ‘Europe came from the Prime Minister. League.
And with Barcelona the only club in Spain to feature in the top 20 in summer transfer spending, Tebas has highlighted what he claims is an uneven playing field when it comes to financial clout.
“Premier League revenues are 1.8 times more than La Liga or Bundesliga but this negative amount is 20 times more than the Spanish league which has very good financial control“Tebas said during a presentation on spending limits in Spanish football.
“Something doesn’t make sense there, so what’s going on? There are a lot of checkbooks coming out of clubs like Manchester City signing a number of players. Even the Championship has lost €3bn (£2.6bn) over five years. Capital contributions from club owners of Premier League clubs to offset losses to La Liga.
“I know the Premier League has a model to limit losses to £108m ($125m), do we want unsustainable models? What happens if owners stop spending money? We could let sheikhs and big companies come here to buy clubs. PSG can get more gas whenever they need to buy more players or use a related business.
“The football industry has changed and there is a lot more money. If there is no control, we could endanger the industry itself. The two most sustainable competitions are La Liga and the Bundesliga and we really have to fight for sustainability.
“10 years ago we weren’t like the Bundesliga, but we are now. We’re going to put all that at UEFA and it’s important for all the other European leagues because we want sustainable European football.”
Spending limits within La Liga have proven costly for Spanish powerhouse Barcelona, who have been forced to sell off their intellectual property to comply with the league’s strict spending controls, but even after auctioning off various rights television – which they referred to as “leverages” – the club came close to not being able to register some of their seven summer signings due to financial problems.
And Tebas adds that the financial model he has put in place in Spain will ensure the financial health of his clubs, after Chelsea, Nottingham Forest and West Ham United were placed on a UEFA ‘watch list’ – a situation which could lead to fines and even suspensions from European competition if their finances are not in check.
“We had a pandemic so it’s impossible for them to do this if they didn’t have contributions from the owner’s checkbooks,” he said. “If in Spain we did that, let everything go and let the rich buy our clubs, then that’s an option but we’d rather have a sustainable league like the Bundesliga.
“We know what our football is. We don’t want our clubs to go into too much debt to be able to buy players. In our league, that’s not allowed. That’s the model we stand for.
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