September 6, 2017 / 5:55 PM / 10 months ago

Soccer - French league slams 'undignified' Spanish league boss

MANCHESTER/PARIS (Reuters) - France’s soccer league on Wednesday labelled the head of the Spanish league, Javier Tebas, “undignified” and Premier League side Manchester City hinted at legal action after he again publicly criticised the club and Paris St Germain.

Spain's professional football league (LFP) president Javier Tebas, leaves following a news conference after attending the World Leagues Forum in Mexico City, Mexico, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero/Files

Tebas, president of the Spanish football league (LFP), accused PSG of “financial doping” and “peeing in the pool” over their purchase of Brazilian striker Neymar and reiterated his view that City were breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Tebas had already lambasted Qatar-owned PSG and UAE-owned Manchester City on Monday, accusing them of being funded by state aid and circumventing FFP rules. Each club spent more than 200 million pounds ($260.94 million) in the last transfer window.

On Wednesday Tebas went one step further.

“We have caught PSG peeing in the bed or the pool. Neymar has climbed on to the diving board and peed into the pool. We cannot let them get away with this,” he said at the Soccerex conference in Manchester.

“FFP doesn’t work until the damage is done. I told PSG that I will take them to court and they said: ‘I thought you were my friend.’

“According to their figures, Paris Saint-Germain have made more money from sponsorship than Manchester United. That is impossible. This is financial doping.”

He also said PSG, who signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record 222-million-euro ($264.74-million) fee in August, were “laughing at the system”.

The French professional football league immediately defended PSG and said only UEFA could rule on whether clubs met fair play rules.

“The league... strongly condemns the insulting comments regarding PSG made today by the president of La Liga, Mr Javier Tebas,” it said in a statement.

“These undignified comments do not live up to the standards of an institution as respectable and high-performing as the Spanish league.”

It added that the league continued to back PSG in the face of a “campaign of negativity publicity by certain big European football clubs over the last few weeks”.

Tebas recently wrote to UEFA urging them to investigate PSG and City and on Wednesday he repeated his view that City’s spending on players came from “oil money”.

UEFA, who are investigating PSG’s spending, have said they are not looking into City.

“Mr Tebas’s statements are ill-informed and in parts pure fiction,” said City Football Group (CFG), which owns the Manchester club, in a statement to local media.

“As you would expect, Manchester City Football Club and the City Football Group are seeking appropriate legal counsel and will act accordingly on that advice.”

Reporting by John Irish and Simon Evans; Editing by Clare Fallon

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