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Lionel Messi‘s departure from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain has had “zero” financial impact on Spain’s top flight, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas.
LaLiga have lost Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo the last four years. Messi left Barcelona as a free agent for PSG in September while Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus in 2018 in a €100 million transfer from Real Madrid in 2018.
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Asked if LaLiga had suffered a negative financial impact by Messi’s departure, Tebas said: “No. Zero. A one-off departure by a star or two, just as it happened with Cristiano [Ronaldo] doesn’t affect [us]. If you look at it, Serie A did not grow with Cristiano.”
Tebas said at the time that Messi’s departure was particularly “painful” for LaLiga. However, he said now that LaLiga is in a good position.
“We signed [in May 2021] an eight-year [rights] agreement with ESPN,” Tebas said. “Do you think they know who will play in LaLiga in eight years’ time? Neither they nor anyone knows that. But they know it’s a financially sound league and that there will always be good players.”
Barcelona’s high salaries made it difficult for the club to put a squad together due to the strict fair-play regulations. Barcelona’s salary cap for 2021-22 was slashed to €97m, becoming more than seven times smaller than that of rival Real Madrid.
Tebas, meanwhile, said that the threat of a European Super League competition remains despite plans collapsing last year after Premier League clubs withdrew following a hostile reaction from supporters, and governments, over the creation of a new European league that would break away from UEFA’s established Champions League competition. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have continued to push for it.
Asked if the Super League was dead, Tebas said: “No. [Real Madrid president] Florentino [Perez] never loses, I’ve known him for many years. The Super League is not a tournament, it’s a concept from many years ago that the big clubs in Europe must decide and rule in world football.”
Tebas also spoke about the need to update the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules and said he is hopeful that will be done in next month’s UEFA executive committee meeting.
The LaLiga chief has led criticism in recent years of Manchester City and PSG’s spending powers and has accused “state-owned football clubs” of breaching UEFA’s FFP rules.
“I hope that at the next UEFA executive committee meeting a new Financial Fair Play will be approved, with important chances to press more those state-owned clubs,” he said.
Tebas added that LaLiga’s fight to have regular season game overseas is not over.
La Liga signed a 15-year marketing agreement with Relevent Sports in August 2018 to promote the game in North America and has tried since then, without success, to stage several league games in the United States.
While the Spanish Foootball Federation (RFEF) blocked LaLiga from staging games overseas, since 2018, the Spanish Supercopa, with the exception of last year due to the coronavirus, has been played outside of Spain.
“I still haven’t discussed it with our legal team but imagine that we will take it to the Supreme [Court],” he said. “It’s a shame and it’s incoherent that this happens when the Spanish Supercopa is taken out of Spain, which is something that seems good to me. I could criticise that it is played in Saudi Arabia, but I am not going to go into this, it is already like this until 2029 I believe.”


By faress

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