La Liga President Javier Tebas has called for UEFA to investigate English Premier League side Manchester City following its record-breaking $280 million spending spree this transfer window.
City spent more than any other amount in a single transfer window during their huge transfer haul, and Tebas believes City’s dealings contradict FIFA’s Financial Fair Play [FFP] rules.
Tebas has also urged UEFA to expand its investigation into whether Paris Saint-Germain has committed the same offence.
In a statement to the Associated Press on Monday, Tebas said the Abu Dhabi-owned Man City and Qatar-funded PSG are benefiting from government aid which “is irreparably harming the football industry.”
“PSG and Man City’s funding by state-aid distorts European competitions and creates an inflationary spiral that is irreparably harming the football industry. UEFA must enforce FFP regulations to avoid discrimination among clubs,” Tebas said, AP reported.
“PSG is a habitual offender and has been violating UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations for years.
“It is important that UEFA doesn’t just look at the most recent player transfers, but at PSG’s history of noncompliance. The transfers are merely the result of years of financial doping at PSG.”
UEFA said on Friday it would investigate whether PSG was violating FFP rules – designed to control excessive spending by top European clubs – which could see them banned from Champions League if found guilty.
Manchester City has been owned since 2008 by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.
Tebas complained to UEFA how the club is sponsored by state-backed companies Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, sovereign investment fund Aabar, Etisalat communications firm and First Gulf Bank.
This summer, City set the record for spending in a single transfer window that included splashing on defenders Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker. The duo cost City £52 million [US$67 million] and £50 million [$65 million] respectively, making them the most expensive players in their positions anywhere in the world.
FFP rules dictate clubs playing in European competitions can incur losses of $36 million during a three-year assessment period that runs through 2018, and not just rely on cash that has been injected by owners.
To achieve that, according to Tebas, City and PSG are inflating their income by using sponsorship state-backed companies.
French Ligue 1 club PSG has been owned by the Gulf state of Qatar, via its Qatar Sports Investments fund, since 2011.
Tebas has complained that FFP sanctions imposed on City and PSG in 2014. Both clubs had €20 million ($24 million) of their Champions League prize money deducted and had limits imposed on their spending and squad size for matches.
PSG’s transfer dealings also raised eyebrows. Their acquisition of 18-year-old Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe hinted at transfer chicanery, with the deal initially involving a season-long loan deal with the promise to pay $216 million next year, thus bypassing a financial commitment to the deal.
In July, Tebas threatened to report PSG to UEFA for breach of FFP if a deal for Neymar to move from Barcelona to PSG came to fruition.
Upon the completion of the $264 million world record transfer, Barca became embroiled in a protracted dispute with the club and player, threatening both with lawsuits in a spat which that came to define the acrimonious split between the Brazilian striker and the Catalan giants.