August 6, 2019 / 4:23 PM / 15 days ago

'State clubs' Man City, PSG are dangers to the game - La Liga chief

(Reuters) - “State clubs” Manchester City and Paris St Germain represent a danger to football and strict financial controls are needed to prevent them from vastly outspending their rivals, La Liga president Javier Tebas said.

FILE PHOTO: La Liga President Javier Tebas poses during an interview with Reuters at the La Liga headquarters in Madrid, Spain, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

Tebas, who has spoken out against City and PSG before, added that a state-run club would be against financial rules in Spain and urged European football’s governing body UEFA to clamp down on what he called “financial doping”.

Premier League champions City are owned by City Football Group, in which the Abu Dhabi United Group has an 87 percent stake, while French title-holders PSG have been owned by the Qatar Sports Investment fund since 2011.

"State clubs... present a danger that football hasn't seen before. They're operating entirely outside of the rules and risk inflating markets to disastrous levels through their financial doping," Tebas told the Totally Football Show www.thetotallyfootballshow.com.

“The governors of European football need to show a much stronger commitment to healthy domestic football.

“This would include stricter financial controls that limit state clubs like City or PSG from vastly outspending rivals... it would include firmer Financial Fair Play penalties, which have been a very weak deterrent up to this point.”

In June, City appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over a UEFA investigation into potential breaches of financial fair play.

Tebas said financial rules in Spain prevent investors from creating debt or inflating the market, although he acknowledged that La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid had always spent more than their rivals.

“Barcelona and Madrid have never received state support and have always been run in a financially responsible way,” the 57-year-old added.

“Big clubs have always existed across Europe... they can create distortion if there are no financial controls.

“In the case of Spain, we’ve spent the past years reducing levels of debt to historic lows, and we don’t want our biggest clubs to have more money if others don’t.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru

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