Manchester City have claimed comments made by the president of LaLiga about the club’s spending are “pure fiction”.
Javier Tebas, speaking at a Soccerex event on Wednesday, suggested super-rich clubs including City and Paris Saint-Germain have an unfair advantage over European rivals despite Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
Tebas commented specifically on Neymar’s world-record move from Barcelona to PSG, saying the Ligue 1 side were caught “peeing in the swimming pool” while the Brazilian “peed from the diving board”.
LaLiga’s outspoken president also warned City – linked with a stunning move for Lionel Messi, who has a €300million release clause, even larger than the €222m paid for Neymar – could complete similar massive deals due to their riches.
“Manchester City with all this oil [money] will take all these players and we need to protect ourselves,” Tebas said.
UEFA is investigating PSG over the club’s deals for Neymar and Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, but the governing body has confirmed no such probe is under way to examine finances at the Etihad Stadium, even though the club spent more than £200million on players in the transfer window.
And City responded strongly to accusations from Tebas regarding the bankrolling of the club by owner Sheikh Mansour, of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family.
“We note the public comments made by Mr Tebas today and earlier this week,” City Football Group said in a widely-reported statement on Wednesday.
“UEFA’s statement of the 4th of September is clear and based on accurate information. By contrast, Mr Tebas’ statements are ill-informed and in parts pure fiction.
“As you would expect, Manchester City Football Club and the City Football Group are seeking appropriate legal counsel and will act accordingly on that advice.”
The French Professional Football League (LFP) has also hit out at Tebas over his comments about Neymar’s record-breaking transfer, condemning the LaLiga president’s “insulting remarks”.
“These unworthy remarks do not live up to an institution as respectable and efficient as LaLiga,” said the LFP in a statement.
City, who were taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group nine years ago, were sanctioned by UEFA over a breach of FFP regulations in 2014, while PSG have also been punished for breaking financial rules by Europe’s governing body.
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