A lot of eyebrows were raised after Manchester City’s two-year European ban was overturned in July. Many members of the football fraternity expressed their surprise at the decision, with it being widely perceived that the club had breached Financial Fair Play regulations. Following the ruling in July, outspoken LaLiga president Javier Tebas had claimed that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was not up to the standard required for these decisions. Now, Tebas has once again taken a dig at Man City, while also having a say on the Lionel Messi to Man City talk.
Javier Tebas has been an open critic of Manchester City, criticising the club’s funding and the way it conducts business financially. Speaking to journalist Samuel Marsden, the 58-year-old chief expressed his surprise at the fact that the club did not seem to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Explaining his stance, the LaLiga president claimed that Man City are financed "differently", which makes it impossible to fight against them.
🎙 Javier Tebas (LaLiga president) "The only club in the Premier League that talks about registering Messi is Manchester City. Since Man City compete outside the rules, what I am worried about is that they are able to access a player by breaching Financial Fair Play rules."— FCBarcelonaFl 🏆 (@FCBarcelonaFl) November 17, 2020
Javier Tebas also admitted that since he has criticised Man City many times, doing so one more time would not make any difference. In 2019, Tebas had said that the Cityzens were “state-funded” and were funded by “petrol and gas money”.
Javier Tebas:— Man City Report (@cityreport_) November 17, 2020
"I have criticised what #ManCity do so many times, doing it one more time makes no difference. They're not effected by Covid, pandemics or anything because they're financed differently and it's impossible to fight against that."
[via @samuelmarsden] https://t.co/GYxkGIvRGO
Javier Tebas’ attack against Manchester City comes at a time when the majority of the clubs in LaLiga have been struggling financially. Barcelona’s financial struggles have been well documented, while media reports have revealed how defending champions Real Madrid are negotiating another pay cut with its staff to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, Tebas himself had talked about how many clubs in Spain are struggling financially.
#ManCity opted not to respond to Javier Tebas' comments on the club today, although it is understood they are wrestling with the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic - limiting Pep Guardiola to a net spend of £31M during the recent transfer window.— Man City Xtra (@City_Xtra) November 17, 2020
The LaLiga president also addressed the Messi to Man City rumours, claiming that the league is ready for the Argentine’s departure. The Barcelona star has been heavily linked with a move to England ever since he announced his intention to leave earlier this summer. Many Lionel Messi transfer rumours suggest that the player will make the move to Man City soon.
Talking about the links, Javier Tebas said that since the English club operates outside of UEFA’s rules, they can think about signing Lionel Messi. The LaLiga president also said that Man City can access a player by breaching UEFA’s rules, pointing out how Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho have criticised the club’s spending in the past as well.
While concluding, Tebas admitted that while they would prefer that Lionel Messi stays in Spain, just like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, the league would not notice a difference in case the Argentine leaves Barcelona.