Javier Tebas

Pep Guardiola lashes out
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Pep responds: ‘I tell Jose and Jurgen that it was a good day for football’

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola isn’t taking criticism from Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho lying down.

The Liverpool and Tottenham bosses branded the lifting of Man City’s European ban as bad for the game, and Guardiola had answers at the ready.

Klopp called it a “bad day for football” while Mourinho applied the adjective “disgraceful.”

[ MORE: What now for Man City, PL? ]

“I tell Jose and Jurgen that it was a good day for football,” Guardiola said. “A very good day. We played with the same rules as everyone. If we broke them then we would’ve been banned.”

Guardiola was outright preening now that City’s seen its ban rescinded and a massive fine lowered to about $12 million (still plenty of money). The fine was for obstructing the investigation.

He went off. From The Daily Mail:

“All these clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester, Wolves, Man Utd, Tottenham, Liverpool — Liverpool — Burnley, I understand they want the five positions. We were with the eight clubs, we wanted a resolution.

“(But) don’t go behind and whisper. Next time before (you) make phone calls, call our chairman and say, ‘Guys, all these clubs we are going to do it all together.’ Manchester City don’t have to apologise because the three independent judges decided we have done everything properly. It’s clear. We were exonerated for something we were accused of.

“In the last decade, we’ve spent more than in the past, yes, but 30 years ago Arsene Wenger (spent). Arsene, the guy who perfectly defends Financial Fair Play… so Arsene, you know that Manchester City was correct with what we have done.”

“United with Sir Alex Ferguson spent a lot of money. When Chelsea started to win Premier Leagues, they invested more than the others. Barcelona and Real Madrid spent a lot of money.”

There should be some fair play to Guardiola, who is right to point out that all of the above managers spent massively to sustain success regardless of academy development. Man City is criticized for where its investment comes from but also can point to similar companies investing in his rivals. Essentially, Guardiola is asking that critics apply their disdain for spending across all clubs.

In other words, everybody spends. Few less than City. Guardiola laid out about $75 million on Rodri and a little less on Joao Cancelo (albeit with a lot going the other way in Danilo). His 2017-18 spend on Ederson, Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, and Bernardo Silva was audacious.

Mourinho has worked in some of the biggest spending clubs in the world. Liverpool splashed huge money on Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Sadio Mane, Christian Benteke, and Roberto Firmino. These managers and clubs don’t operate in a vacuum and don’t produce beautiful football out of the bargain stores.

Guardiola did not limit his criticism to his critics in England.

The ex-Barcelona boss was happy to issue a stinging rebuke to La Liga chief Javier Tebas.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch versus Norwich City ]

“He’s another one, this guy Senor Tebas must be so jealous of English football. He’s an incredible legal expert from what I see, maybe next time I’ll ask them which court and judges we have to go to.”

Here are some more thoughts relayed by Man City’s Twitter account:

La Liga president: Realistically no fans until 2021

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La Liga could return in June with closed door games, which could be the norm for more than a half a year.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

La Liga president Javier Tebas met with clubs from its top two tiers and warned them that there is a likelihood of no fans at their matches until 2021.

The lone hope against that is a vaccine, which is obviously the priority of the people the world over in every field.

From AS:

Tebas wanted to make it clear so everyone was aware of the hit their incomes would take from lack of ticket sales. The clubs could lose 129.5 million euro (117 million from the first division and 12.5 million in the second).

This makes up just part of the loss they would face. LaLiga believe the losses could come to 956 million euro if they don’t return to play and 350 million euro if the games are played with no fans.

The difference of more than a half-billion euros shows why the closed-door matches will be played as soon as possible despite any talk about the spirit of the sport.

The intensity of an El Clasico without fans would take a hit, but there’s still be fire on the pitch. And, glass half-full, any further delay would ramp up the anticipation for a return to hallowed ground like the Camp Nou or the Bernabeu.

UEFA entertaining Financial Fair Play relaxation amid coronavirus difficulties

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With clubs around Europe impacted financially by the coronavirus shutdown, UEFA is considering changes to its Financial Fair Play rules to accommodate those that cannot meet the break-even standards required by the current guidelines.

With the current financial climate and some clubs struggling to maintain a balanced book, clubs may require owner investment to keep the businesses afloat.

“A working group has been set up to look at how club licensing/FFP might need to adapt to take account of the extraordinary challenges that clubs face, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” UEFA said to The Associated Press on Tuesday. “The situation is evolving fast and the working group is continuously monitoring the situation with the aim to come to a proposal in the coming weeks.”

Manchester City has been punished for previous Financial Fair Play rules after owner Sheikh Mansour allegedly covered up an injection of cash into the club as sponsorship income. The AP report states that Man City’s case will not be impacted by any changes to FFP since the violations occurred between 2012 and 2016.

However, owner injections could be temporarily overlooked, according to long-standing FFP proponent Javier Tebas who is the president of the La Liga in Spain. “If those people want to invest a lot of money into football … to reduce the debt levels of clubs, well I think that would be studied and I think that could be possible,” Tebas said in the AP report.

UEFA has already pushed back its club licensing deadlines for the 2020/21 season since it is currently unclear when that season will officially begin.

La Liga suggest possible dates to restart

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The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, has suggested a number of dates when he expects Spain’s top-flight to restart.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Tebas gave an update on the situation as the coronavirus pandemic has hit Spain incredible hard over the past week. The death toll in the last 24 hours rose by 743 with the total deaths now 13,798 in Spain.

“Of all the different scenarios we have been looking at with UEFA to go back to competing, the most probable ones are 28 May, 6 June or 28 June,” Tebas said. “We can’t say an exact date. This will be given to us by the authorities in Spain. But we still have time to get back to training before that.”

Training has been suspended until at least April 26 due to restrictions put in place by the Spanish government and even if training resumed in late April there would have to be at least three weeks before of a mini-preseason before players would be ready to resume.

Tebas had previously stated that Spain’s top-flight would be back in action by mid-May but in this ever-changing situation it is impossible to put a date on when normality will resume.

UEFA and the Premier League have relaxed any dates they had to finish the 2019-20 season and that is the correct way to go about this. Tebas and La Liga will obviously wait until the Spanish government allows teams to return to training and then figure out where they go from there.

La Liga leader Tebas triggers new election to seek new term

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MADRID (AP) The president of the Spanish league resigned – and immediately made himself a candidate again – to try to give the league greater “institutional stability” before negotiating new television rights.

Javier Tebas offered his resignation on Monday, triggering a new election for a four-year term.

In a letter sent to the clubs, Tebas said the move was aimed at giving the league the “greatest possible stability” to “maintain the trust” of national and international television operators which will be negotiating new rights.

Tebas’ current term would end in early October, while the new tender for domestic television rights for the period 2022-25 is set to take place from March to June 2021. Tebas said he believed the new tender process would be “too close to the electoral period.”

Tebas said the stability was also important as Spain faces government changes that could affect the league and the clubs, and to keep the league in a strong position to fight against proposed changes to major European competitions.

Tebas has been in charge at the league since 2013, spearheading a transformation that included the implementation of a centralized sale of television rights and the creation of financial control measures that helped Spanish clubs significantly reduce their debts.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports