“We are behind the Bundesliga due to the restructuring of FC Barcelona”


The president of LaLiga, Javier Tebas, explained this Wednesday the “risks of sports policy” in different focuses that must come together to create sustainable football like the one practiced by the Spanish league, although he recalled that Spain is the country “most fiscally penalized for a footballer”, while assessing the emergence of the Saudi League and the unreliability of the ECA.

“We have a financial fair play system that works. We are an economically sustainable League and according to this is what can be signed. Some club could have signed more but it is the clubs’ decision. We are a League that does not give losses and in Europe there are only two Leagues that do not give losses: LaLiga and the Bundesliga,” he said at the World Football Summit Europe 2023.

“It is true that we have been behind the Bundesliga and the explanation lies above all in the phenomenon of FC Barcelona, ​​which is in a period of economic recovery, in a complicated situation from which it comes, and that means that the numbers of this club to be equal to the Bundesliga,” added the president of the association in his speech at the event in Seville.

Tebas recalled that the “Premier, the Italian and French Leagues are leagues with million-dollar losses” and welcomed the Saudi League, although it remains to be seen which path it decides to take. “Not being within UEFA, the models that are being implemented do not have to limit their investment, but the Saudi League is building a League model in that area that is a tourism attraction model,” he said.

“I would give some advice, which I already gave to China, to build a great League you have to have great players but it is not the only thing. You have to work hard on the brand of your competition and your clubs, work with their audiovisual rights, be patient for that brand to grow. We’ll see what model it wants to follow,” he added.

On the other hand, the president of LaLiga explained the difficulties of financial control at the World level, an issue “to be reconsidered” since “football today is not the same as that of 15 years ago”, and pointed to the importance of tax differences. “If the European Union itself has not done fiscal harmonization, it is very difficult for UEFA to do it. It is very difficult for it to exist,” he commented.

“I advocate more that the authorities of each country know that for our product to be more competitive we have to equalize ourselves. Now, for the transfer period for example, we have to think that the Spanish League or Spain is the country most penalized for a footballer fiscally. In Italy, the average is half that of Spain. I advocate that Italy’s policies come to Spain, it would help us be more competitive,” he added.

On the other hand, Tebas approached timeshare in clubs not as something dangerous as long as there is “control of transfer prices”, not like between PSG and Qatar. The president of the Parisian club, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, also mentioned his presidency of the European Club Association (ECA), his position at UEFA and also his control over BeIN Media Group.

The president of LaLiga recalled the “conflict of interest” that this entails, with an ECA that “claims to represent the clubs when it does not.” Tebas, who confessed as “necessary” the creation of another representative that could be the recent Union of European Clubs, trusted that BeIN’s debt with LaLiga is not due to its criticism and pressure from an audiovisual group towards the Spanish clubs.

Furthermore, the top leader of the employers’ association regretted the almost constant conflict with Real Madrid, the last one over the audiovisual regulations. “The importance of audiovisual rights, their value is as a whole. If we go one by one that is lost. Individualizing as Real Madrid wants harms itself. It is a question of power, which its president likes very much” , he pointed out.

Finally, Tebas highlighted the importance of the alliance with EA Sports, “a mandatory change” and one that they had already planned. “In audiovisual matters, we seek to resemble the video game. We must be prepared for a new way of broadcasting. We have given a lot of importance to technology, while selling 51% of LaLiga Tech to Global, a great developer,” he announced as an exclusive .

“We are the most advanced sports competition in the world, more advanced than the major American competitions. The user experience is going to be key,” he concluded, predicting big changes in the broadcasting of soccer matches in the coming years.