Manchester City Chairman hits back at La Liga chief and FFP talk

David Cooper - Writer 00:54 27/05/2019
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Manchester City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has fired a staunch rebuttal at recent accusations concerning the club’s finances.

In his annual end-of-season interview with the club’s digital channels, Al Mubarak confronted recent comments from La Liga President Javier Tebas and UEFA’s investigations into alleged financial fair play (FFP) irregularities.

Following a story in the New York Times recently, the club responded saying they have ‘comprehensive proof’ of their innocence in regards to FFP, but this did not stop the La Liga chief wading in on the situation.

Tebas accused City, and Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint-Germain, of damaging European football with state backing which distorts the transfer markets and stretches the game to its financial limits.

Al Mubarak rebuked Tebas’ words, suggesting he should look at La Liga’s history of big spending, and how accusations are more of an attack on the Premier League, driven by its ability to consistently outrank Spain’s top flight.

“He talks about how we distorted the market?” said Al Mubarak. “There is a hypocrisy in this statement that is ironic. Let’s look at the Spanish league, the time of breaking records on player acquisitions, I mean, who started that? Let’s go back to the world records, (Luis) Figo, (Zinedine) Zidane. These huge jumps in transfers, where did they happen? Mr Tebas should look back at the history of that league, and how distortion has happened throughout the ages.

“I think people with glass homes shouldn’t be throwing rocks.”

He added: “I don’t think it’s just an attack on Manchester City. I think there is a clear attack on the Premier League. Let’s not forget this is the best league in the world. You have four Premier League teams in the two European finals and that’s a fact and that bothers a lot of people in many places.

“We have the best league in the world, we have the most commercial league in the world, the most successful clubs in the world, economically, commercially in terms of global presence, and that’s why this attack is not just on Manchester City, it’s against this league. And I hope people start seeing that and start – I know people don’t want to defend Manchester City – but for God’s sake start defending this league.”

Al Mubarak also suggested other clubs, and leagues, need to hold a mirror up to themselves when it comes to finances.

“I will not accept for this club to be used as a diversionary tactic on poor investment decisions from other clubs. People make decisions, they’ve got to live by them. We’ve managed ourselves well and we will be judged by facts and facts alone,” he explained.

“That’s a fact; we have a a well-managed wage to revenue ratio that compares to some of the best run clubs in his league, La Liga, and frankly in all of European football.”

The UEFA probe into the club was brought to the fore again this month with the New York Times suggesting investigators could recommend a Champions League ban on the Premier League champions. But, Al Mubarak says the club has nothing to be concerned about.

“Am I uncomfortable?” he said. “No. I respect regulatory bodies doing their job and any regulatory process that asks questions. We have to professionally respond which is what we have done. We are dealing with each of these entities as per the process and we have clear answers. I believe, quite comfortably, if the process is going to be judged on facts then unquestionably we will prevail.”

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