LaLiga has demanded an investigation into how Paris Saint-Germain have been able to fund a blockbuster new contract for Kylian Mbappe.

The Spanish league body, headed by president Javier Tebas, said it would ask UEFA and authorities in France and at the European Union to investigate the financial affairs of the Ligue 1 champions.

Mbappe's new deal was confirmed on Saturday just before PSG's final Ligue 1 match of the season against Metz

The World Cup winner has signed a deal until 2025, turning down an offer from Real Madrid. It can be reasonably assumed the 23-year-old has penned one of the most lucrative deals in the sport's history.

PSG have been able to attract the likes of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos away from LaLiga clubs, and Tebas said in a Twitter comment that the French club's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had become "as dangerous as the Super League".

LaLiga later issued a statement that made savage comments about PSG's business model.

It said a deal such as the agreement with Mbappe "threatens the economic sustainability of European football, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs and sporting integrity at risk in the medium term, not only from European competitions, but also from our domestic leagues".

The statement added: "It is scandalous that a club like PSG, which last season lost more than 220million euros, after having accumulated losses of 700million euros in recent seasons ... with a cost of sports staff of around 650million for this 21-22 season, can reach an agreement of these characteristics while those clubs that could accept the arrival of the player without seeing their wage bill compromised, are left without being able to sign him.

"For all of the above, LaLiga is going to file a complaint against PSG before UEFA, the administrative and tax authorities in France and before the competent bodies of the European Union, to continue defending the economic ecosystem of European football and its sustainability."

PSG have previously denied breaching financial fair play rules.

LaLiga's statement also directly attacked Al-Khelaifi, saying it hoped that "he would refrain from carrying out these practices knowing the serious damage they cause", given he holds down senior administrative roles in European football.

"This type of behaviour led by Nasser Al-Khelaifi... is a danger to European football at the same level as the Super League," the Spanish league's statement said.

It added that PSG's spending "undoubtedly implies non-compliance with the current economic control regulations not only of UEFA, but of French football itself".

Al-Khelaifi has been president at PSG since October 2011, with Qatar Sports Investments orchestrating dramatic change at the French club, bringing a host of global superstars to the Parc des Princes.

Manchester City, under Abu Dhabi-led ownership, are another club who have spent heavily and achieved a level of success in recent years that had been unprecedented in their history. Newcastle United, meanwhile, are now majority owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

LaLiga said of PSG's spending: "These behaviours denote even more that the state clubs do not respect or want to respect the rules of an economic sector as important as football, key to the sustainability of hundreds of thousands of jobs."

LaLiga chief Javier Tebas took a swipe at Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi as it emerged Real Madrid have missed out on Kylian Mbappe, claiming the Qatari was "as dangerous as the Super League". 

The Spanish league did not have sufficient appeal to persuade Mbappe to give up the riches on offer at PSG, as reports on Saturday said the 23-year-old has picked Paris over Madrid. 

Al-Khelaifi has been president at PSG since October 2011, with Qatar Sports Investments orchestrating dramatic change at the French club, bringing a host of global superstars to the Parc des Princes. 

He resisted pushing PSG into the controversial European Super League project, but the enormous investment in the club has not gone unquestioned. They have been able to attract the likes of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos away from LaLiga. 

LaLiga president Tebas has now questioned how PSG can afford to offer World Cup winner Mbappe what is expected to be one of the biggest deals in the history of football. 

Cadena Cope radio show Tiempo de Juego has claimed LaLiga could launch a complaint against PSG over the renewal of Mbappe, questioning whether the Ligue 1 champions are operating within financial fair play limits. 

Tebas wrote on Twitter: "What PSG are going to do by renewing Mbappe with large amounts of money (namely where and how they pay him) after giving losses of €700m in recent seasons and having more than €600m of salary bill, is an INSULT to football. Al-Khelaifi is as dangerous as the Super League." 

Barcelona are not in a position to finance a deal for Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas.

Lewandowski last week confirmed that he has informed Bayern he will not be extending his contract beyond the end of next season.

The Poland international hinted he is interested in a move away from the Allianz Arena in the upcoming transfer window, rather than departing as a free agent in a year's time.

Barca are the favourites to land Europe's most prolific striker, with head coach Xavi insisting age would not be a barrier when it comes to his rebuild project.

However, uncertainty lingers over whether Barca have the financial clout to make a move as they attempt to come through an economic crisis that has hit Camp Nou hard.

And unless certain players, such as midfielder Frenkie de Jong, are sold to bring in additional funds, Tebas does not see the Lewandowski transfer being a possibility.

"The numbers are easy: if you have more than €500million losses from the past two years, you have to recover money," Tebas is quoted as saying by Spanish publication Sport.

"Lewandowski has one year left at Bayern. Between what he wants to earn and what Bayern want to take... as of today I don't see him at Barcelona. Other things must happen.

"Selling players could be enough, depending on how much they raise and what Lewandowski costs. It could be €100m plus that is saved.

"De Jong could give them that possibility, but I don't know if they are even planning to sell. To date they have not sold him."

 

Lewandowski has scored 50 goals in 46 games for Bayern in all competitions this season, making him the top scorer among players from Europe's top five leagues.

Next on that list is Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema with 44, followed by Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe with 36 in 45 matches.

Mbappe had been widely expected to join Benzema at Madrid next season, but reports on Friday suggested the forward might decide to stay at PSG.

However, Tebas expects the France international to end up at the Santiago Bernabeu in the coming weeks.

"I think he'll be at Real Madrid, though one day he is white and another day he is black – he changes," Tebas said. "But yes, I think [he'll sign for Madrid].

”I have seen these twists and turns so many times – it's not unexpected, because there are always twists. 

"The feeling I have is that if he had wanted to renew he would have already done so, but I could be wrong."

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez warned UEFA must remember who his side are amid continued European Super League and Financial Fair Play disputes.

Madrid were one of the 12 founding clubs of the doomed Super League last April, with nine of the sides involved quickly withdrawing their intention to feature amid a furious and widespread backlash.

The nine clubs who pulled out, including six Premier League teams, were welcomed back to the European Club Association (ECA) but UEFA opened proceedings against Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus before later declaring them "null and void".

While Perez and Juventus' Andrea Agnelli argued the breakaway format would be the saviour of football, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin claimed the trio attempted to "kill football".

But Madrid's chief Perez is still refusing to give up hope on the Super League as he insisted the LaLiga outfit would not back down from threats, nor intentionally harm domestic leagues with the new competition.

"It is not just a new competition, it is much more, it is trying to change the dynamics of football," Perez said at Madrid's Ordinary General Assembly on Saturday.

"It is also freedom, so that the clubs are masters of their destiny [with Financial Fair Play] and it is the project that will finally make it happen."

"The Super League is the project that will avoid situations in which clubs get indiscriminate support. It would only develop if it's compatible with the domestic leagues.

"It's time to remind UEFA who Real Madrid is. Real Madrid created FIFA along with seven federations, then created the Champions League in 1955 along with L'Equipe."

Madrid do not just have problems with European football's governing body either, Los Blancos – along with Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao – are also challenging LaLiga's private equity investment deal with CVC Capital Partners.

LaLiga and CVC signed a deal, originally ratified by 38 of the 42 sides in Spain's top two divisions, meaning the latter would receive 11 per cent of the revenue from television rights over the next 50 years in exchange for an investment into the league.

The Spanish trio - after Oviedo changed their stance - announced in September they would contest the agreement, while Madrid confirmed they would launch civil and criminal lawsuits against LaLiga president Javier Tebas and CVC chief Javier de Jaime Guijarro over the proposed deal.

"It does not make sense and is very profitable for the rest of the clubs," Perez added.

"I never imagined that I would be told by the press that they were going to take away our rights, the league being a mere marketer according to the law.

"It is an operation full of very serious irregularities and would have damaged our heritage.

"The fund is the same one that has tried to do the same in Germany and Italy where they failed. They approached several clubs in distress - it's absurd to even consider accepting that CVC deal."

Barcelona forward Ansu Fati is at least on a par with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas. 

Fati has enjoyed an impressive rise from Barca academy product to first-team star over the past two years, despite having to contend with a number of injury setbacks. 

Among a host of other records set since his debut in August 2019, Fati can lay claim to being Barca's youngest goalscorer and the youngest scorer in Champions League history.  

Mbappe is also no stranger to breaking records, not least becoming the youngest player in history to reach the 100-goal mark in Ligue 1 at 22 years and 91 days old in March.  

The World Cup winner is further along in his development than Fati, having made his senior breakthrough with Monaco in December 2015 before joining PSG two years later. 

While Mbappe is widely heralded as one of the most coveted players in world football, Tebas argues he is no better than Barca youngster Fati. 

"We always like to give a lot of value to what we have outside of Spain," Tebas told El Partidazo de Cope.  

"We have Ansu Fati, who unfortunately has had injuries, but over time he has shown that he is equal to or better than Mbappe." 

Fati, who inherited Lionel Messi's number 10 shirt at Camp Nou in September and recently signed a new long-term deal, has scored 17 goals in 51 appearances for Barca in all competitions. 

Over the same period, Mbappe has found the net 77 times in 97 games for PSG, netting at a rate of one goal every 98 minutes. Fati gets one every 138 minutes. 

Mbappe has also outperformed Fati in terms of assists, setting up his PSG team-mates 33 times compared to three for the Spain international. 

When comparing the players over the same point in their career, Mbappe also has the edge. 

Across his first 51 appearances for Monaco, which like Fati was made up of 27 starts and the rest from the substitutes' bench, Mbappe scored 24 times at a rate of one every 108 minutes and assisted 10 more. 

That includes a big-chance conversion return of 71 per cent at that stage in his career – which has since dropped to 48 – compared to 29 for Fati. 

LaLiga president Javier Tebas pleaded for a more sustainable level of spending across football as he refused to take the blame for Lionel Messi's departure from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi left his only senior side Barca to join PSG on a free transfer after the Catalan club were unable to offer him a contract due to LaLiga's spending restrictions.

Barca's salary cap was cut to €97million this season due to a combination of their lavish prior outlay and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Messi instead headed for big-spending PSG in France, but Tebas believes Ligue 1, along with Serie A, should follow LaLiga in keeping a closer eye on finances.

He suggested LaLiga needed its fellow 'top five' leagues to stay afloat in order to ensure the European Super League, proposed last season before a swift collapse, does not return.

Faced with financial difficulties, Barca, Real Madrid and Juventus remained committed to the Super League project, even as their domestic rivals and the Premier League's 'big six' backtracked.

"Is the transfer of Messi to PSG my fault? Obviously not," Tebas said, speaking at the Festival dello Sport. "We need sustainability in football. It is a special sector, football is passion and belonging, but in recent years it has become a business.

"Serie A has been at a loss for 20 years, what matters is the total balance. This also happens in France, not in Germany and not from us.

"What did we have to do to be sustainable? The competition must be regulated by some rules; otherwise, teams like PSG will arrive and invest €400m in a single summer. They have very high salaries; this leads to inflation.

"It is not our fault that Messi has not renewed his contract; we have a salary cap in LaLiga, a rule approved by all the teams, and this is what makes LaLiga sustainable. If there were such controls also in Italy and France, there would be no more losses.

"The economic solidity of the other leagues is also fundamental for Spain: if there are no strong leagues, the risk of the Super League is always high.

"I have said it many times to [Juventus chief] Andrea Agnelli: 'Do you want to go to the Super League where Real Madrid and Barcelona will earn more and more than you?'"

As well as the Super League, Tebas is opposed to the idea of a biennial World Cup put forward by Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager and FIFA's chief of global football development.

The LaLiga boss was frustrated FIFA had not first involved the leagues.

"Football has a problem with governance," he said. "FIFA wants to change the international calendar with a unilateral decision. This has an impact on the leagues.

"If you want to take a decision with an impact on domestic leagues, the FIFA Council cannot just take the decision with the Solomon Islands voting, too. With UEFA, we have reached an agreement with the leagues.

"The biennial World Cup will have an impact on the revenues of clubs like Torino and other Italian clubs, no doubt about that.

"Leagues cannot just be consulted in the decision-making, they need to be part of the decision."

LaLiga president Javier Tebas says he has figures to prove Paris Saint-Germain have used deception to avoid breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.

Tebas has regularly criticised PSG in recent months and branded the Ligue 1 giants "the enemy" after they moved to bring in Lionel Messi on a free transfer from Barcelona.

Messi was added to a star-studded list of players at the Parc des Princes that also includes Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the two most expensive footballers of all time.

PSG also secured the services of Achraf Hakimi for a fee reportedly rising to €70million during the close season, while Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma joined on free transfers.

Tebas continued his war of words with the French club on Thursday in an interview with L'Equipe, once again accusing them of spending more money than they generate.

"I can show, with figures, their deception against Financial Fair Play," Tebas said. "Before Messi, PSG had 40 per cent more income for sponsorship than Manchester United.

"If Messi and Neymar remain at PSG, I don't care. It's just that this hurts a lot of European football. I'm not alone in saying it.

"I criticise them because they cannot bring in the money for the squad they have. It causes a distortion of competition. It does not correspond to the actual sponsorship.

"How can they explain that they have a squad of almost €600m? If they win Ligue 1, they will not generate more than €45m. It is impossible. 

"I invited president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and the French league chief [Vincent Labrune] to show them the numbers we have and where the irregularities are. They didn't answer me.

"They are quick to criticise me, but they do not answer."

Javier Tebas has declared there cannot be any negotiation for a European Super League, despite LaLiga's biggest clubs continuing to back the breakaway competition.

Real Madrid and Barcelona, along with 10 other European clubs, including LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid, announced in April their intention to form a new league.

The project was swiftly shot down, with UEFA, European governments, other clubs and fans condemning the proposal.

Under significant pressure, the six Premier League clubs involved – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - quickly withdrew their interest, with Atleti, Inter and Milan all following suit.

However, Madrid and Barca, along with Juventus, remained involved in the project, with Los Blancos president Florentino Perez insisting European football needed the Super League.

UEFA's attempts to punish the rebel clubs have come to an end, with European football's governing body abandoning legal proceedings in September.

Despite the project seemingly lingering on, LaLiga chief Tebas insisted the breakaway cannot be allowed to happen, and is confident the idea is already a "dead issue".

"A Super League is not negotiable," he told Spanish radio show El Partidazo.

"Nor that the big clubs have to dominate national and international football. It is not the future. Any step that one gives there is yielding ownership.

"I do not give any chance of success to a Super League. In England they realised they were wrong. In Germany more of the same. The Super League is a dead issue."

Tebas also opened up on his relationship with Madrid president Perez, who he believes is the only one convinced by the Super League proposal.

"I haven't been to live football for a long time," Tebas added. "Why don't I go to the Bernabeu box? Florentino invites me to all the games at the Bernabeu.

"Peace with Florentino? I don't know. From a professional football perspective it is impossible for us to understand each other because we have two very different visions.

"The only one who is convinced of the Super League is Florentino. Neither [Barca president Joan] Laporta nor [Juve counterpart Andrea] Agnelli are.

"I have no doubt that if Florentino could, he would remove me from the league's presidency. In institutional politics, Madrid is making mistakes, they are making many enemies."

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have announced they will continue to challenge LaLiga's agreement with CVC Capital Partners. 

LaLiga last month struck a €2.7billion (£2.3bn) deal with CVC that will see the private equity firm acquire 10 per cent of the commercial business. The other 90 per cent of the investment was earmarked to boost cash-strapped clubs in the top two tiers of Spanish football as they deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Madrid and Barca allege the agreement impacts all clubs' audiovisual rights for the next 50 years, with Los Blancos announcing legal action, including against LaLiga president Javier Tebas, last month. 

The deal was overwhelmingly passed by the LaLiga assembly on August 12, yet Barca, Madrid and Athletic still refuse to accept it, while the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) labelled the agreement as "totally illegal". 

In a statement released on Friday, the trio of top-flight clubs made clear their intentions to contest the resolution, following what they describe as a "highly irregular and disrespectful process". 

The statement read: "Barcelona, Athletic Club and Real Madrid announce that they have challenged the agreement adopted by the LaLiga assembly on August 12, 2021, relating to the operation between LaLiga and CVC, as it being an agreement that infringes the applicable rules set out (and in particular, amongst others, the Royal Decree Law 5/2015), and it was adopted as part of an highly irregular and disrespectful process toward with the minimum guarantees required to those purposes, especially faced with an operation of such importance and longevity." 

LaLiga boss Tebas claimed that Barca would have been able to keep Lionel Messi had they agreed to sign up. Due to the club's serious financial issues, the Argentina superstar was unable to sign a new contract and instead joined Paris Saint-Germain. 

Tebas also insisted CVC are investing to develop the league, rather than salvage the finances of Spanish clubs. 

"CVC were interested because of how we have developed, without help from Madrid or Barca. CVC have not come here to bail us out - they are not here because of the pandemic," he said. 

"Only 15 per cent of the money can be used to pay off debts, 70 per cent is for investment in infrastructure. So they are not here to bail out Spanish football, but to help build a stronger league."

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has defended Real Madrid's attempts to sign Kylian Mbappe despite football's wider economic struggles, adamant their conduct pales in comparison to that of Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid president Florentino Perez was at the forefront of the European Super League scandal earlier this year, as a group of elite clubs attempted to form a closed breakaway competition.

Perez said their intention was to "save" football, convinced the sport was financially unsustainable in its current form, but plans quickly unravelled when the English clubs involved pulled out.

Yet, despite talk of football's doom, Madrid lodged bids for Mbappe in the most recent transfer window, with their offers thought to have started at €160million – only the Frenchman himself (€180m) and PSG team-mate Neymar (€222m) have ever cost more.

Nevertheless, Madrid have raised significant capital through sales over the past four years, turning a profit in transfer fees in three of the five seasons dating back to the start of 2017-18.

As such, Tebas sees little cause for concern over the financial state of Madrid, but he cannot see them having a transfer window like that of PSG, who brought in Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos and Nuno Mendes.

Speaking at a sponsorship news conference, Tebas told reporters: "I said that Spanish football is not ruined, neither Madrid nor Barcelona.

"There are at least 80 per cent of clubs in Europe that have it much worse. Regarding Real Madrid, I think they have been the club that's been better managed through the pandemic, with enormous rigor in their salary spending. Real Madrid has the capacity to do what they want.

"They can never be PSG, because PSG cheats. They have a salary expense close to €600m, which is impossible. Madrid are not a state club either, so they can't."

Talk of Spanish football's demise intensified following Barcelona's latest comprehensive Champions League defeat on Tuesday, losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou, while Sevilla stuttered to a 1-1 draw at home to Salzburg.

For Barca, it was the first time since Opta records began (2003-04) that they had failed to get a shot on target in a Champions League game, and Bayern's superiority condemned Ronald Koeman's men to three successive home defeats in the competition for the first time.

Prior to 2020-21, Barca had only ever lost two Champions League home games by three or more goals but that has occurred three times since – with Messi no longer there, many would expect their standard to plummeting further.

But Tebas insists the odd Champions League result does not necessarily mean anything, pointing out the Premier League arguably enjoyed its greatest period of growth during a European trophy drought.

"There is still a lot of the Champions League to go," he continued. "Last year it was the same and then everyone went through to the knockout phase.

"The level of LaLiga does not depend on a few Champions League games. When the Premier League grew the most, it was in a phase of six years without winning the main elite competition."

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has been accused by LaLiga chief Javier Tebas of "psychologically kidnapping" Barcelona in recent years.

Tebas has previously criticised Barcelona for supporting a proposed Super League, which failed to get off the ground as a backlash quickly led to the withdrawal of nine of the 12 founding members.

The 59-year-old also more recently hit out at Barca and Madrid for rejecting a €2.7billion arrangement with CVC Capital Partners, a deal that he argued would have allowed the Catalan giants to keep hold of Lionel Messi.

In the latest exchange between two of the most powerful men in Spanish football, Tebas has now claimed Perez swayed Barcelona counterpart Joan Laporta's decision to not accept the offer on the table.

"I have the feeling that at Barca there's a 'psychological kidnapping' regarding Florentino, like an inferiority complex," Tebas told Sport. 

"Florentino is a very intelligent guy and Jose Angel Sanchez, his director general, is the most empathetic man in European football. 

"All that glamour and know-how, up against someone (Laporta) who's been outside the world of football for more than 10 years.

"Barca were in favour of the CVC deal right until Real Madrid said no... In the last 72 hours everything changed. I think it was very much connected to the Super League and the strategy that Real Madrid are following."

Years of financial mismanagement caught up with Barcelona last month when they were unable to offer a new contract to Messi due to LaLiga's financial restrictions.

However, Tebas has reiterated that Barca could well have kept hold of Messi – who has since joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent – had they signed up to the CVC investment.

"Yes, it could have been avoided," he said. "I spoke about it with Laporta personally... I think next season with the figures Barca put out, we'll see if Messi could really have stayed or not.

"It wasn't a financial decision. I know that for sure. If Laporta shook hands with Messi, it was because for a month he had accepted the CVC offer. 

"He was in favour for a month. That's why he said things were going well. He even called me twice to speed up the CVC operation, because Messi was getting nervous."

Losing six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi to Ligue 1 giants PSG is a major blow for LaLiga, even more so than the previous high-profile exits of other big name players and coaches in the view of Tebas.

"Just like when Cristiano Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho left. We knew that one day this would happen," he said.

"We have had the great luck of having the two best footballers in the world in the two best teams in the world and from LaLiga we have been able to take advantage of this to put ourselves on the world front line. 

"Perhaps Messi's departure has been a bit more painful, because personally I consider him the best in history, and he didn't deserve to leave like that, not only for Barça but for LaLiga as well."

LaLiga has confirmed it will support clubs who elect not to release players who represent national teams in South America for next month's fixtures.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Premier League announced that all 20 clubs had agreed to block their players travelling to countries on the United Kingdom's red list amid concerns over enforced quarantine periods on their return.

The majority of countries in South and Central America are on the UK's red list, while the Premier League also confirmed it had aired its frustration with FIFA over the decision to extend the CONMEBOL international window from nine days to 11.

Similarly, LaLiga has now hit out at world football's governing body, insisting it would fully back clubs who choose not to release South American internationals for this reason, while also taking into account concerns over coronavirus.

"In relation to the serious unilateral decision by FIFA to increase by two days, from nine to 11 days in both September and October, the international FIFA period for the CONMEBOL confederation, without addressing other solutions that were raised in the World Leagues Forum, LaLiga wants to communicate that it will support in all areas the decision of the Spanish clubs not to release their players belonging to the national teams for the convocation of CONMEBOL, and will take the pertinent legal actions against this decision that affects the integrity of the competition by not allowing the availability of the players," a statement read.

The statement went on to declare that 25 players from 13 LaLiga clubs had already been called up by South American nations, with the squads for Ecuador and Venezuela still to be announced.

"The Spanish association understands that the world calendar cannot and should not be modified in this way, especially when there are alternative solutions," LaLiga's statement continued.

"LaLiga, through the World Leagues Forum, has already expressed its discomfort in this situation and in the absence of sensitivity towards the clubs, on an issue, such as the international calendar, which is set and agreed four years in advance and to which the national leagues have already adapted taking into account the circumstances of the COVID, but always in a way agreed between all the parties involved.

"LaLiga will summon the affected clubs for a meeting in the coming days."

Javier Tebas says it has "hurt" LaLiga to lose Lionel Messi but pinned the blame at the door of Barcelona for refusing to accept a contentious financial arrangement.

LaLiga has struck a €2.7billion (£2.3bn) deal with CVC Capital Partners, one that will see the private equity firm acquire 10 per cent of the commercial business.

In turn, the other 90 per cent of the investment would be used to help cash-strapped clubs across the top two tiers of Spanish football as they cope with the long-term financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Madrid and Barca have spoken out against the proposal, while on Wednesday the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) insisted it was "totally illegal."

Madrid and Barca allege the agreement includes all clubs' audiovisual rights for the next 50 years, with Los Blancos taking legal action as they were not properly consulted.

However, the deal will go ahead as planned after a general assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour on Thursday, though Barca and Madrid are two of the four clubs to have opted out of the agreement.

Speaking after the proposal was passed, LaLiga president Tebas was adamant Barca could well have kept hold of Messi – who has now joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent – had they signed up.

"I don't know exactly what Barca are doing to lower their wage-bill — with the CVC money they would have had around €40m more," Tebas said.

"It could have been for Messi, or others, to make a more competitive squad. We are hurt by Messi leaving, for sure, but there is no clause in any TV deal which sees us get less money without Messi, although it could hurt companies who are looking to add subscribers and fans of the biggest clubs.

"In LaLiga we've always wanted to have the best players but then Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar left and Messi has now left.

"I'd say it's probably been quite traumatic because for a whole month the president of Barcelona kept saying everything was going well and all of a sudden, one afternoon, the whole transaction went down.

"So it's a real shame that Messi has left but we've worked a lot to ensure our value in broadcasting rights doesn't go down.

"I'm convinced that the fans of Barcelona in Spain will still watch Barcelona as well whether or not Messi is playing for them.

"We signed recently an eight-year contract with ESPN and there was no clause that obliged us to have Messi playing for our league. Who knows in eight years' time who is playing in the Spanish league. They're important, the players, and they help, but they're not essential."

Tebas also hit out at Madrid and Barca for "hampering" the process, suggesting the two giants of Spanish football are instead invested in developing a European Super League.

"Everything that LaLiga do, Real and Barcelona try to block it," Tebas said, as reported via The Athletic. "But we keep growing anyway, and it will continue to grow whether all clubs agree to this deal or not.

"Real and Barca do not want the national leagues to develop and grow stronger. That would not benefit their Super League project. They want most of the money to flow to them.

"Real Madrid have been for eight years hampering our attempts to grow LaLiga's TV revenues, [former Barcelona president Josep Maria] Bartomeu was with them in that too."

According to Tebas, CVC are investing to develop the league, rather than salvage the finances of Spanish clubs.

"CVC were interested because of how we have developed, without help from Madrid or Barca. CVC have not come here to bail us out — they are not here because of the pandemic," he said.

"Only 15 per cent of the money can be used to pay off debts, 70 per cent is for investment in infrastructure. So they are not here to bail out Spanish football, but to help build a stronger league."

There were plenty of questions for Joan Laporta as he sought to explain Lionel Messi's Barcelona exit on Friday.

The morning after the night before, the Blaugrana president faced the media to give the club's stance on the failed contract talks that mean their talisman is heading elsewhere.

Laporta spoke for an hour and 20 minutes and covered a wide range of topics relating to Messi, Barca’s finances and the restrictions in place in LaLiga.

Stats Perform brings you 10 key quotes from an exhaustive news conference...

'The decision is over'

It was a blunt answer. Laporta had not come to the news conference to give Barca fans what he described as "false hope".

"The decision is over," he said. "It's done."

'Leo is not happy'

Nobody involved with Barca is happy with the outcome – including Messi himself.

"Leo wanted to stay, so he's not happy. We all wanted him to stay," Laporta explained. "For him, right now, it's a situation in which he has to confront reality. It is a reality that can't be changed. He knows that I wish him the best wherever he goes, him and his family. Barca is his home. He's enlarged this club's trophy list and we'll always be thankful."

'He tried to make it easy for us'

No blame was laid at the forward's door, with Laporta revealing two separate agreements between player and club – neither of which could work within LaLiga's regulations.

"We've been at it for two months and we've gone through different stages," Laporta revealed. "The first agreement was two years that would be paid in five years. Leo was in agreement with that. He was always present in negotiations and tried to make it easy for us. The first offer was two years of salary to be paid in five, and we thought that would be allowed in the regulations of fair play, but the criteria of cash came into play. It's not allowed here where it is in other countries. It's all part of a process.

"LaLiga also had its pressure because there are other clubs that want regulations and rules to be abided by.

"Then we agreed to a five-year contract, which was also accepted by Leo, even though we were all thinking of two more years. We all agreed: two years and, if he wanted more, we could sit and talk about it. We wanted the era post-Messi, the one we start today, to start in two years. Taking into account the circumstances, we've had to bring that forward. We all wanted to enjoy his talent, his magic playing at Barca, but at the moment it can't be. When we did the five-year contract that we thought would be allowed – and I had insinuated that this would be allowed – a technical analysis by the LaLiga commission found that this contract wouldn't be valid within those regulations."

'I said we would do everything'

Laporta had based much of his election campaign around the idea of keeping Messi at the club, but he did not regret this approach.

"I said this several times: I said that we would do everything possible for Messi to stay at Barca within the economical situation of the club," he said. "We reached an agreement with Messi, we just weren't able to formalise it."

'We don't have any margins'

Indeed, Laporta preferred to take aim at predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu due to the state of the club when he took over.

"We don't have any margin," began Laporta's opening statement. "We knew that when we got to the club, but the numbers that were presented to us after the first audit, and our analysis, those numbers are a lot worse than those exposed initially, which are what we are working with now."

He added: "An investment of that volume with the contract of Messi was risky. We wanted to assume those risks, but when we have realised the real situation at the club after the audit, it means that we would have put the club at great risk."

'They have not given us satisfactory answers'

Bartomeu was not the only individual criticised, though, with Laporta repeatedly highlighting issues with a deal LaLiga have done with CVC Capital Partners, which will see the private equity firm acquire 10 per cent of the league's commercial business for €2.7billion.

LaLiga chief Javier Tebas posted on Twitter during the news conference to query Laporta's suggestion the agreement would impact broadcasting rights.

Informed of the post, Laporta replied: "I will tell you that we do not interpret it that way. In fact, yesterday our senior executives spoke with those who run this operation and they have not given us satisfactory answers. I understand the legal formulas that you articulate, because they are ingenious, but this implies giving up a part of our rights with a horizon of half a century. In addition, I would tell you that the amount set by CVC is much lower than what, for us, the 10 per cent of LaLiga should be valued."

'Those are personal conversations'

Laporta was far more guarded over conversations he might have had with Tebas as LaLiga's best player departs the competition.

"Those are personal conversations," he said. "I can't disclose them."

'The player has had other offers'

Laporta insisted he does not know where Messi will go next, but he suggested there had already been contact from rival clubs.

"During the course of negotiations, we've known that the player has had other offers," he said. "And there was a time limit – both for us, because of LaLiga starting shortly, and for them as well, because he needs some time. As fair play continues to be rigid, the player also needs some time to see what he's going to do and evaluate his situation and look at other options."

Laporta added: "He's the best player in the world and logic takes you to think that he has other very good offers."

'The tribute that Leo Messi deserves'

Messi has been on holiday in Ibiza, while his father flew in for discussions this week, but Barca hope to be able to pay tribute to their legendary number 10 in future.

"The tribute for Leo Messi will be the tribute that Leo Messi wants, whatever he likes, whatever he wants to do," Laporta confirmed. "If it was up to us, we'd pay tribute to Leo Messi every day for what he's done for Barca. With the circumstances we're in right now, in terms of the pandemic, in terms of the economic situation, in terms of the pre-season, that makes it complicated. I hope that one day we can see the tribute that Leo Messi deserves."

'We're starting a new era'

For now, the focus at Camp Nou must be on the new season, with a squad learning to play without their stalwart superstar.

"Everyone was waiting for Leo to go to the dressing room and start training," Laporta said of the squad. "I had to tell them it's not going to happen. We're starting a new era and it has to be successful. They're the protagonists of that. They have to make us proud and they need to prove that we can win without players of the talent of Leo Messi, who's the most talented player in the world."

Javier Tebas and Joan Laporta traded opinions over LaLiga's planned deal with CVC Capital Partners – an agreement Barcelona have criticised despite the added funds it will provide.

LaLiga announced the private equity firm will acquire a 10 per cent stake in a new business that will take control of most activities, with the focus on commercial ventures.

The deal, which values LaLiga at €24.3billion, was approved unanimously by the executive committee and is set to be proposed to the general assembly.

However, both Barca and rivals Real Madrid have denounced the proposal, citing concerns over what impact the tie-up will have on television rights.

Laporta aired those concerns himself on Friday when speaking about Lionel Messi's departure from Camp Nou, the club president unwilling to risk Barcelona's long-term future simply to make sure their star player stayed put.

LaLiga president Tebas was clearly watching on and, during the media conference, wrote on Twitter: "Hello Joan Laporta, you know that the CVC operation does not mortgage the TV rights of Barcelona for 50 years, what it does is that they have more value for all the clubs and so you can MORTGAGE your BANKS and solve the great debt. So you understood hours ago."

LaLiga, which controls the top two divisions in Spanish football, have said 90 per cent of CVC's €2.7bn investment would be earmarked for its clubs.

Still, the added income was not enough for Barca to keep hold of Messi, who now faces an uncertain future. His departure will be a blow for LaLiga too, considering his global appeal.

Laporta responded when Tebas' tweet was brought to his attention by a journalist, professing his belief that the value for 10 per cent was too low.

"Hello, Javier. I will tell you that we do not interpret it that way," Laporta said.

"In fact, yesterday our senior executives spoke with those who run this operation and they have not given us satisfactory answers. I understand the legal formulas that you articulate, because they are ingenious, but this implies giving up a part of our rights with a horizon of half a century.

"In addition, I would tell you that the amount set by CVC is much lower than what, for us, the 10 per cent of LaLiga should be valued. With all my love, I have already answered you."

Tebas duly returned serve on social media, referencing Barcelona's involvement in the European Super League proposal that failed to gain traction.

He wrote: "You recently said that we were broke. Now that we are valued at €24.250million and there is access to partners TO GROW, you are concerned about the future income of LaLiga that you gave up for dead. You are proven wrong."

Barca's perilous financial predicament means they have not yet been able to register new signings, including Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero.

The club's official statement on the CVC agreement read: "FC Barcelona feels it is inappropriate to sign a half-century agreement given the uncertainties that always surround the football world.

"The terms of the contract that LaLiga is describing condemn FC Barcelona's future with regard to broadcasting rights.

"FC Barcelona wishes to express its surprise at an agreement driven by LaLiga in which the teams' opinions, including those of FC Barcelona, have not been taken into account.

"There has not even been a presentation of options offered by other competitors in order to evaluate the pros and cons in a post-pandemic situation in which there are still many questions that are left unanswered."

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