Paris Saint-Germain executives have issued a withering retort to LaLiga president Javier Tebas after the Spanish football chief accused the French club of breaking financial rules.
LaLiga announced on Tuesday that it has lodged a formal complaint about Qatar-owned PSG’s spending with European football’s governing body Uefa. It follows PSG retaining the services of superstar striker Kylian Mbappe in the face of competition from Real Madrid last month.
The Spanish league also says it has instructed lawyers to explore legal options in Switzerland over “possible conflicts of interests” relating to PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi, who also has high-ranking roles at Uefa, the European Club Association and BeIN Sports.
PSG said they “refused to dignify” Tebas’s latest outburst with a formal statement but one executive commented: “The last person we’ll take lessons from is Javier Tebas.
“The first person who needs lessons on conflicts of interest, financial management and market distortion is Javier Tebas. We look forward to seeing who he threatens and sues next week – and which hat he’ll be wearing when doing so.”
It continues a bitter and long-running war of words between PSG chiefs and Tebas, two of the most prominent forces in European club football.
PSG insist they are fully compliant with Uefa’s financial fair play rules, which were designed to prevent clubs running up unsustainable losses and have been revamped this year.
The French champions have argued that signing Mbappe to a lucrative new contract will pay for itself through increased commercial income, as they say the signing of Lionel Messi last summer so far has.
They deny that Al Khelaifi has any conflict of interests, pointing out that he is non-executive chair at BeIN Sports and that external legal counsel has reviewed his position to that end.
PSG also point out that Al Khelaifi’s football roles go hand-in-hand: he has to be president of the club to hold the ECA job, which in turn necessitates a seat on Uefa’s executive committee.
Furthermore, insiders argue that Tebas himself may be conflicted by his roles at LaLiga and European Leagues, the umbrella body of which he is the most vocal member.
LaLiga also complained to Uefa in April about Premier League champions Manchester City. Tebas has accused PSG and Abu Dhabi-owned City of distorting the market and having “irregular financing” related to their state-linked backers.
Uefa has previously charged PSG and City with breaches of financial fair play following complaints from LaLiga but the charges were overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.