La Liga Boss in fierce attack: “With the ECA there is no debate, there is a kitchen with the access limited to 12 or 13 diners, and when they’ve finished cooking and eating, they invite the rest for a coffee”

1 April 2019

Javier Tebas La Liga chief angry fierce attack
Photo: Getty Images Javier Tebas wrote a column for the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo. And the chief in La Liga made it clear that he is deeply frustrated with the attitude of the big European clubs.

Tebas warns that mooted European Super League would be “complete disaster” for football.

La Liga chief hits out at UEFA and ECA over “conspiracy” to create “VIP club” for game’s elite teams.

Tebas also accused UEFA of giving up in its fight to sanction the Qatar-owned Paris-Saint Germain for breaking its Financial Fair Play rules.

The President of La Liga, Javier Tebas, has launched a fierce attack on the European Clubs Association (ECA) and UEFA over their planned changes to the format of the Champions League, accusing them of a “conspiracy” which would spell “complete disaster” for European football.

Tebas said that the ECA – which represents the wealthiest, most powerful clubs in Europe – were driven by greed and self-interest and warned that the proposal for a European Super League from 2024, which could feature promotion and relegation and weekend fixtures, would damage national competitions across the continent.

In a scathing column written for the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo, Tebas added no thought had been given about the implications for clubs beyond the “VIP club” of 32 participants – and warned that La Liga and other national leagues would be prepared to stand in the way of any changes that hurt their own competitions.

Frightening

The German Football League CEO, Christian Seifert, has previously said that moving Champions League fixtures to weekends would be crossing a "red line”. 
Tebas added: “The reform that UEFA and the ECA are thinking of making will not go ahead, however much they insist, because the Leagues are going to block it.”

They talk and talk about figures and formats, dates and weekends, in complete ignorance of the real effects on themselves and the rest of football

He also claimed that one figure in the ECA, whose executive board met the UEFA Executive Committee in Nyon on 19 March, had been promising the reforms would bring each competing club €900 million.

“To know that one of their leaders was going around telling people they’d be earning €900 million per club is frightening,” he said.
“It’s a complete disgrace.”

‘Moral blackmail’

Using emotive language, Tebas said:

“The moral blackmail of the engines of European football has caused UEFA to agree to revise its Champions League format and to be willing to adapt it for the theoretical benefit of the wealthiest clubs. They talk and talk about figures and formats, dates and weekends, in complete ignorance of the real effects on themselves and the rest of football.”

Tebas also wrote that UEFA and the ECA are building a competition “which in the medium to long term will be an authentic disaster and goes straight to the heart of the national competitions because – let’s be clear about this – aside from just a few, this is a coalition dividing rich and poor in which only 32 of them [clubs] will have a VIP pass.

“We all know that the ECA represents only a few. It is the alibi or the excuse that the big European clubs use to achieve their objectives. With the ECA there is no debate, there is a kitchen with the access limited to 12 or 13 diners, and when they’ve finished cooking and eating, they invite the rest for a coffee. In the eyes of the world, it seems like the banquet is a celebration for all. It’s a lie.”

‘It won’t be workable’

On the response of the national leagues, Tebas warned that they could make the European Super League plan unworkable, saying that “the European Leagues are not willing to accept a simple UEFA consultation and the taking of decisions which affect our competitions. Either we reach an agreement or pact, or not only will we not support any reform but, moreover, it won’t be workable.”

Can anyone understand how UEFA managed to miss a deadline, come on, we’re grown-ups

He added: “The leagues in every country are the sporting and economic engine of football – there are hundreds of clubs, thousands of players taking part, with their salaries and their families; thousands of jobs around these competitions (administration, communication, hospitality, retail) which in Spain amounts to 1.37% of the GDP.

UEFA queried, FIFA praised

Tebas also accused UEFA of giving up in its fight to sanction the Qatar-owned Paris-Saint Germain for breaking its Financial Fair Play rules.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld this month PSG’s appeal against UEFA on the grounds that the body took too long to review its own decision to clear the French champions of breaking the rules. As a consequence, PSG escaped sanctions for 2015, 2016 and up to summer 2017.

Tebas said: “Some powerful clubs, drunk on money, carry on without seeing that their real enemy are state-run clubs, which are producing galloping inflation when it comes to salaries, with the complicity of UEFA, which as they say in judicial circles ‘didn’t do enough in their CAS tribunal with PSG’. Can anyone understand how UEFA managed to miss a deadline, come on, we’re grown-ups.”

Supporting Infantinos Club World Cup plans

Tebas contrasted UEFA’s approach with FIFA’s plans to reform the Club World Cup – turning it into an enlarged 24-team competition taking place every four years.

He said: “The plans of UEFA and the ECA are dangerous not only for the Liga Santander but for every national competition in the world. FIFA has recognised this in time and has modified its plans to benefit supporters and football solidarity.”

“The Club World Cup will be a competition that offers sustainability, solidarity and transparency and will respect the supporters and the clubs, whatever their economic positions, so long  as it follows the established path: once every four years, a more even split, and respect for the calendars of the national leagues.”