La Liga president Javier Tebas feels he will “have to repeat” his criticism of Paris Saint-Germain if Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani completes a takeover of Manchester United. Both Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe lodged separate bids to buy United from the Glazers ahead of the ‘soft deadline’ last month.
While Ratcliffe’s bid is said to be for the same share as the Glazers in the club, Sheikh Jassim has said that he wants to buy 100 per cent of the Old Trafford outfit. The potential of a Qatar-backed owner at United has caused some division among fans due to the country’s human rights record.
Sheikh Jassim’s bid also led to some doubts on the inclination he wasn’t linked with the current PSG owners, Qatar Sports Investments. Little is known about the Qatari banker, whose father was the country’s former prime minister between 2007 and 2013.
The spokespeople working for Sheikh Jassim weren’t even able to confirm his age or how he made his fortune when the bid was lodged last month. But he is seen as the leading candidate to buy United, which would likely see the Premier League club become an even richer entity than they already are.
Tebas has been critical of state-owned teams in the past, taking aim at PSG when they signed Lionel Messi with the La Liga chief branding the French side as the “enemy” and “as dangerous as the Super League”. And the 60-year-old, who has been La Liga president for 10 years, has called on football authorities to “pay attention” to United’s takeover bid.
“Everything I have always said about PSG I will have to repeat,” Tebas told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit. “What shouldn’t really happen is they come up with fake sponsorships or structures over the clubs so expenses can be dealt with creatively – not within the arena of football.
“We have seen inflated sponsorship, then you create a structure. This is a little bit dangerous and we have to pay attention. In the case of Manchester United, the purchaser knows that it has to pay for the takeover and the losses.”
Tebas has also been outspoken on the alleged financial breaches of Manchester City and feels “appropriate decisions” will need to be made if the Premier League side are found guilty. “In 2017 in a forum organized in Manchester, I already criticized PSG and City,” he added.
“Ferran Soriano [City CEO] asked me to go to the club’s facilities, he was angry with me. That was 2017 and now it is 2023 and nothing has moved on, but suddenly there is an inquiry.
“This case, which in my opinion has taken too long. We know there was an alleged breach of 100 articles, so any decisions will have to be adopted accordingly by the Premier League. One of the worst things about financial controls is if you don’t follow or comply with it.”
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