Premier League accused of 'cheating' and 'economic doping' over transfers as Uefa are called to take action | The Sun

PREM clubs united in fury after Spanish league bosses accused them of “cheating” financially – and demanded Uefa action against English football.

In a double-pronged attack led by La Liga chief executive Javier Tebas, the Spaniards pointed to Prem dominance of the transfer window to claim English clubs are not playing fair.

Tebas, a long-term critic of the Prem, said: “We read about the ‘strength’ of the Premier League – but it is not like that at all.

“It is a competition based on millionaires funding LOSSES of the clubs, because their ordinary income is not enough for them.

“The British market is a doped market. Most of the clubs are economically doped.”

Chelsea’s potential £329.9m spend in January alone was more than £100m greater than ALL of the top flight clubs in Spain, Germany, Italy and France COMBINED.


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Last month saw Prem sides splash out £815m according to football finance experts Deloitte, taking the total for the season to a staggering £2.78bn.

Around £1.7bn of that cash went to clubs outside England, effectively bankrolling the entire European football market.

Tebas, who accused the Prem of spending “barbaric amounts", added: "This winter, Chelsea made almost half of the signings in the Premier League.   

“It is a competition that has lost billions of pounds in the last few years. 

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“And this is financed with contributions from the patrons, in this case large American investors who finance at a loss. 

“We recognise that commercially they have a higher turnover than us.

“But it is quite dangerous that the markets are doped, inflated, as has been happening in recent years in Europe.

"That can jeopardise the sustainability of European football. It is inflationary buying.”

His latest comments sparked private disbelief and anger from Prem clubs, with one insider suggesting: “I don’t know if it’s jealousy or hypocrisy but it’s gone too far.”

Spanish football remains embroiled in a cash crisis which has seen most of La Liga’s clubs agree to “mortgage” 25 years of central revenues while Real Madrid and Barcelona remain wedded to the breakaway European Super League project.

There is also an ongoing match fixing investigation with Spanish police probing 30 games.

Yet Tebas’ right-hand man, La Liga corporate director Javier Gomez, stuck the knife into English football – despite conflating the Prem and the Championship.

He said: “Between 2016 and 2021, the Premier League and the Championship lost £2.65bn and the owners and shareholders put in £3.1bn out of their own pockets.

“Essentially in England they are doping the clubs.

“They are injecting money not generated by the club for it to spend which puts the viability of the club at risk if the shareholder leaves.

“In our opinion that is cheating because it drags down the rest of the leagues.

“That is our fight, demanding that UEFA implements a new economic regulation that prevents the shareholder of a club from putting in more than a certain amount.

“And then Uefa must enforce this rule and sanction non-compliant clubs.”

Prem chiefs are understood to be furious about another needless and unprovoked attack from Madrid, especially as they believe Tebas has been embarrassed by his inability to rein in Real and Barca.

It is felt his ongoing diatribes are a distraction to turn attention away from the problems that beset the Spanish game and a signal of Tebas’ frustration at la Liga’s struggles to catch up with the Prem on and off the pitch.

Senior figures at the Prem’s headquarters near Paddington are also pointing to the lack of complaints about spending power when the market was controlled by Spain’s two giants.

Indeed, while Chelsea broke the British record to sign Argentina’s Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in a £107m deal, Barca and Real between them were the buyers in five of the seven more expensive transfers in history.

The difference is that the last of those big money deals – Real’s £130m signing of Eden Hazard FROM Chelsea – was in 2019, the summer before the pandemic.

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It is the Prem that has led football’s economic recovery – indeed, arguably the only major nation that has bounced back completely.

Meanwhile Spanish football has struggled, partly because of the huge financial disparity between the big two and the rest compared with the English model of dispensing the £3.4bn annual broadcast payments.

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