City signing Messi would be ‘financial doping’, claims La Liga president

Date published: Thursday 8th July 2021 6:57 - Lewis Oldham

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La Liga president Javier Tebas has claimed that if Manchester City or PSG signed Lionel Messi, it would be classed as “financial doping”.

Messi has been linked with a move away from Barcelona in recent months. He is now out of contract and Manchester City are among the teams who have shown interest in him.

The Argentinian forward is expected to stay with the Spanish giants. They are said to be “confident” that Messi will sign a new deal

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But Barcelona are going through financial struggles at the moment. It was reported earlier this week that they “cannot register new signings” due to La Liga’s salary cap limit. 

As cited by Manchester Evening News, Tebas has told the British media that it would be “incredible” if Messi joined City or PSG:

“He won’t be able to sign on the previous conditions, that’s impossible,” Tebas said.

City have lost €270m [during the pandemic] so obviously they wouldn’t even consider signing Messi [on his previous salary]. PSG have had losses, too, so they can’t even consider signing Messi [for that much].

“If they do, it will be financial doping. It would be incredible if it happened. We need to establish limits. Financial doping is damaging football.

“It’s not real money because it’s not generated by the clubs. Money not from football causes bad inflation and ruins football because clubs must put in all this effort [to compete], which takes them above their financial capacity.

“We have to fight against this. This is one of the pending issues in European football. If it’s not solved, the game will find itself in a very complicated situation.

“We always want the best players, but Neymar left, Cristiano Ronaldo left and we’re still here, still growing. And as far as I know neither Serie A nor Ligue 1 have grown as much as they would have liked.

“When the Italian [league] took Ronaldo, they said to me broadcast rights would go up. They have just lost €200m on international television rights and on a national level it’s 10% down. I would be sorry if Messi left, he’s the best ever, but we should not become obsessed with [individual] players.”

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