La Liga president Javier Tebas has questioned whether the Premier League is financially sustainable in the long term as it “has become a competition where all clubs lose money”.
Speaking at a conference on how to protect the European football ecosystem, Tebas also vowed to fight against rules that allow Premier League clubs to “distort” the transfer market by spending huge sums on players despite losses.
During the 2022 summer transfer window, Premier League net spending exceeded £1 billion for the first time, according to Deloitte, which noted that English clubs accounted for 49% of spending across the big five leagues during the window. , the highest proportion since 2008.
Tebas questioned whether such spending was sustainable, calling for English football to face rules similar to those in Spain and Germany. “What worries me is the Premier League, and I’ve been worried for many years,” he said. “But now it has become a year-round losing competition. All clubs lose money. There is no sustainability in the Premier League. The Premier League is not a financially sustainable model.”
He added: “They are financed by the owners but with huge amounts of money and that is distorting the market. They get more revenue, OK. But you lose money. And you’re injecting a billion and a half every year. What does that mean? It means you are not sustainable at all.”
A significant majority of Premier League clubs were at a loss during the 2020-21 financial year, the most recent for which all accounts are available, but three members of the current top flight reported a profit: Wolves, Leeds and Manchester City.
La Liga says that under its rules since 2013, clubs cannot register players if they are losing and must spend within their annual income during the transfer windows. Tebas made it clear that he would like similar rules to apply to the English game.
“You need financial sustainability,” he said. “We can compete with the Premier League without any problem. I’m not worried about the Premier League’s 15th-placed team signing a Spanish player. I’m worried that they hire them when they’re losing. Because we don’t allow our clubs to do that.”
Tebas denied a member of the European parliament’s suggestion that the Premier League had become a de facto superleague. But he conceded that fairer regulation could have the added benefit of preventing a breakup of the European Super League, as clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remain unhappy with the Premier League’s dominance and purchasing power.
“The only two economically sustainable leagues are the Bundesliga and La Liga,” he said. “We need to fight for financial sustainability to apply to the Premier League too.”
Tebas also predicted that Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona would soon announce revised plans for a two-tier European Super League, along with promotion and regulation. He added that such a plan was presented to the European Club Association in 2019 and the clubs decided it “would never work”.
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