Transfer Talk

Did La Liga covered wrongdoings by the Spanish clubs?

It’s no secret that the Neymar transfer from Barcelona to PSG made a shock felt throughout the football world. Not only for the amount of money spent, but for the amount of media coverage it received. It was without a doubt more important than the Confederations Cup or any other game that took place this summer. It is now the standard by which all major transfers are measured and it is making medium project type players be worth over €100 million Euros. Evidently it still has many people in Spain quite bitter including La Liga’s president Javier Tebas.

“They are laughing at the system, We caught them pissing in the pool. If Neymar is on the trampoline he is pissing from there.”

This is what Tebas said after he publically stated that he would take this matter to FIFA. In a way he may be correct, there are certain guidelines that FIFA has supposedly set in place to ensure a more level playing field in regards to transfers. Which in his eyes are being broken by PSG, Manchester City and before that Chelsea. Who’s owners have taken money out of their own pockets to finance big signings for their clubs. Which again according to FIFA regulations is suppose to be illegal.

Has La Liga been playing fair?

However let’s go back in time just a little bit. In the summer of 2009 Florentino Perez won the presidency of Real Madrid for the second time. With him came bigger investments from Spanish firms that apparently only he had access to thanks to his many connections in the spanish banking industry. Just that summer he invested a combined €264 million on transfer fees for players like Karim Benzema, Kaka, and of course Cristiano Ronaldo.

This was almost ten years ago when transfer fees were not at the numbers they are today. Barcelona has not fallen too far behind. Paying a La Liga record 105 million Euros for Dembele this summer. If we compare the highest payed transfers in La Liga history versus the highest payed transfers in Ligue 1 history the numbers are not even close even with the Neymar transfer..

Highest Ligue 1 transfers

Compare the transfers completed by Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco to those of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Highest La Liga transfers

Are Tebass remarks totally hypocritical?

No matter what side you are on the numbers don’t lie. Although it is true PSG has been the french club that consistently has spent more money on players, all but the Neymar transfer have been below La Liga’s major transfer average.

President Tebas’ argument is that PSG is getting too much money from sponsors. Companies which in turn feature Nasser Al-Khelaïfi PSG’s president as their main Chairman. However that is not much different from the way Florentino Perez runs things at Real Madrid or Barcelona’s troubles with the law for keeping money off the books and signing fraudulent contracts. Legally speaking Neymar’s transfer was payed by a Qatar foundation that is seeking to promote the 2020 World Cup and then he signed a contract with PSG, but Neymar’s football rights so to speak belong to this company not PSG. Legally the Paris based club should not be able to be hit with any sanction, but we will see where this goes.

The attack on Man City and PSG intends to prevent more La Liga stars from leaving their clubs?

It’s not very often that a League president gets involved in a transfer negotiation, and not only that, but this time Tebas went the extra mile. Accusing up to 3 clubs of financial doping. It was even reported that when PSG went to pay the transfer fee to the league offices they were turned away by Tebas himself who did not want any part in the negotiations. If we go back just a couple of months before the Neymar transfer rumors began that other big transfers might take place removing top of the line players from La Liga.

Cristiano Ronaldo was said to be upset with Real Madrid for not being fully supportive of him in his legal issues and wanted out of the club. After a while the rumors died down as did the coverage of Ronaldo’s legal issues. Maybe just a strange coincidence. It was also reported that Lionel Messi was planning not to renew his contract with Barcelona for a longer term and was seeking a new home. To this day it is uncertain if Messi will sign an extension with Barcelona.

The same has been said about Iniesta and there are always looming Antoine Griezmann transfer rumors out of La Liga.

It seems Tebas is trying desperately to have La Liga keep its ageing roster of stars because their sole image generates millions in marketing deals for the league. With Neymar’s departure there is no poster boy for the new generation post the Messi-Ronaldo era. That’s why they tried so desperately to keep him from leaving. It seems that this is not the last stand off we are going to see between league presidents and billionaire team owners

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