Javier Tebas is the head honcho of La Liga and has a well-documented vendetta with Ligue 1 and its now-flagship club, Paris Saint-Germain, the best team in French club football. Once again, Tebas did not mince his words when showing his recent distaste for the schemings and dealings in the great city of Paris.
“What happens here is that the PSG president (Nasser Al-Khelaifi) is also the owner of BeIN Sports, which is one of the potential buyers of Champions League rights, the conflict of interest is tremendous,” Tebas said in a recent address. Tebas also suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus is not necessarily for a new challenge, but to avoid tax evasion.
“I don’t have any problems showing and explaining how PSG cheats with regards to financial fair play,” Tebas went on to say. “I’m surprised that a league as serious as the French one has not detected the problem, it seems strange to me. PSG’s anti-competitive practices put at risk the balance of this industry. If they consider my comments to be defamatory, they can report me as soon as possible so we can prove in the courts that what we are saying is true.”
A very bold boast indeed, in this, Tebas’s Ligue 1 crusade. Naturally, this did not go down well with Nathalie Boy de la Tour, president of the Ligue de Footbsll Professionel (LFP). In fact, it resulted in a sharp rebuke and a warning to back off immediately.
“I have a lot of respect for Tebas’ work,” Boy de la Tour said of Tebas’s address. “We are unafraid to admit that in Ligue 1, we are looking at what is going on in Spain and finding sources of inspiration.
“On the other hand, to each his own league. I find his relentless pursuit of PSG a bit out of place. I do not interfere with what is going on in Spain, or with Barcelona … I will ask Javier Tebas to not barge into our league’s affairs. Let the European authorities take care of these topics in question. It is not up to us, the league presidents, to criticise or to conspire against this club or that club. I have mailed him. The next steps may well be of the legal sort. He has not answered my mail yet, but I think that he will do.”
Fans, get your popcorn, crepes, tapas, any television snacks you have in your football-fearing parents’ basement ready, this soap opera is going to be a long and fun one.