La Liga president criticises Fifa and says richest golf equipment are ‘hazard’ to sport


The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, was in London final week. Just lately re-elected for an extra four-year time period, the controversial 57-year-old was within the capital for the launch of his TV channel, La Liga TV; however he had different issues to say too, numerous them.

La Liga, just like the Premier League, is in competitors for international eyeballs. It needs to develop its viewers across the globe and get them to spend extra time watching Spanish soccer yr on yr. Therefore the brand new TV station launching within the UK one yr after the collapse of Eleven Sports activities. As an administrator, nevertheless, Tebas has different issues; the one which plagues him most being the proliferation of soccer competitions, probably the most problematic of these being Fifa’s expanded Membership World Cup, a 24-team competitors set to be held in China in the summertime of 2021.

“Having been re-elected, I’m very important of the Membership World Cup,” Tebas says. “An organisation like Fifa is meant to be a regulatory physique. They draft the completely different calendars and when we have to play. Sadly, from organising World Cups, they’re now speaking about Membership World Cups and having that each two years. That’s not an possibility as a result of it will change the established order. This may’t occur.

“A number of weeks in the past Fifa was speaking about how a lot can be paid in the event that they went to China. They’ve been speaking about redistribution of income however haven’t mentioned the affect this could have in several international locations. Let’s think about the 2 groups from Argentina [who will take part in the Club World Cup]. It’s 40 or 50m from a match resembling this. This could have an effect on the Argentinian Tremendous League. They haven’t seemed on the penalties of those tournaments.”

The Membership World Cup shouldn’t be the one factor Tebas is important of. His competitors could also be house to the 2 largest golf equipment in world soccer, in line with the most recent Deloitte Cash League, however Barcelona and Actual Madrid are outdated cash. The nouveau riche of Paris St-Germain and Manchester Metropolis are, in the meantime, a “hazard” to the sport, “state run… playthings” who “skew the stability of your complete European soccer construction.” That is what Tebas had stated beforehand on the topic however in 2020 he takes a subtler line. “One of many main points in European soccer is expounded to [financial] doping. As a result of when we’ve golf equipment being financed by states, then that has an affect on salaries,” he says, with everybody realizing whom he’s speaking about. “Which means in different international locations with extra strict financial controls like Spain and Germany golf equipment can not really ask the state for additional financing to pay these salaries.

“Organisations and establishments have a accountability to redistribute the wealth that we generate. All of us, the Spanish league, the Premier League, Uefa, Fifa. I don’t suppose we’re serving to soccer in any method if we generate wealth and it simply goes straight again to the large golf equipment. Ultimately as a substitute of getting 12 Ferraris, they’ve 15. We’re coping with main golf equipment producing an enormous sum of money. So our purpose is to redistribute that wealth.”

Tebas’s argument for larger largesse amongst soccer’s elite is new. Fairly what the mechanism will probably be for it’s unclear. He does, nevertheless, have optimistic noises for the Uefa chief government, Alexander Ceferin, who has not too long ago scaled again his personal proposals for an expanded Champions League, in direct distinction to Gianni Infantino and Fifa. Maybe he’ll look to do one thing with him.

Tebas is deeply conservative in his private beliefs and has even endorsed the brand new Spanish far proper social gathering, Vox. He doesn’t need change within the European sporting ecosystem. This isn’t simply ideological, after all; it fits the pursuits of La Liga. So does pushing out its personal TV channel, and maybe its personal Over The Prime on-line service (reside soccer on an app) in the end.

“We’ve been engaged on the OTT now for a number of years”, says Tebas. “And the foremost benefit of OTT is realizing your customers and their behaviour.

“We’ve got an OTT proper now with … 600,000 subscribers who watch all the things from weightlifting to fencing. We’re analysing their behaviour … and methods to affect them so that they proceed watching completely different sports activities with us. I don’t rule out the potential of broadcasting soccer on that platform.” Which, on this planet of scheming sport directors, is about as shut as you’ll get to a ‘sure’.

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