The row between Spanish and French football chiefs over Kylian Mbappe’s decision to snub Real Madrid and stay at Paris Saint-Germain has escalated further.
Javier Tebas, the president of Spain’s LaLiga, described the striker’s new deal as an ‘insult to football’ while the league threatened to file a complaint against PSG to UEFA, the French financial authorities and the European Union.
They claimed Mbappe’s new three-year deal, which will see the 23-year-old earn £650,000-a-week and receive a £126million signing-on bonus, ‘attacks the economic stability of European football.’
Kylian Mbappe snubbed Real Madrid to sign a lucrative new contract with Paris Saint-Germain
That led to LaLiga chief Javier Tebas describing the new deal as ‘an insult to football’
Now Vincent Labrune, the president of the French league, has blasted back at Tebas
It had seemed almost certain that the France international would sign for Spanish champions Real this summer on a free transfer after his PSG contract expired.
Now, Vincent Labrune, the chairman of the French league, has hit back with his own scolding statement, reminding the Spanish league that Real Madrid and Barcelona ‘benefitted from illegal state aid.’
In his letter to Tebas, Labrune said: ‘We want to express in the strongest possible terms our disapproval, and also our incomprehension, of your latest attacks against Ligue 1 and one of our clubs.
‘The fact that you publicly and repeatedly take this position against Ligue 1 on this topic and denigrate our league and our clubs is both unacceptable and manifestly false.
‘We are all the more shocked that you are making these attacks given your capacity as president of the European Leagues – which represents Ligue 1 – and a UEFA executive committee member.’
Mbappe poses with Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi after agreeing a three-year contract extension through until 2025 to remain at the Parc des Princes
Labrune went on to remind Tebas of Spanish clubs’ own financial transgressions in the past.
He added: ‘First, in relation to financial stability and sustainability, two of your clubs – Real Madrid and Barcelona – have broken a multitude of records in the past decade.
‘In terms of transfer fees, these two clubs have broken the world record six times. In terms of player salaries, Real Madrid currently has two of the highest-paid players in world football sat on their bench [Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard].
‘In terms of debt, Barcelona is reported to have a debt level of €1.5billion, and this is despite the European Court of Justice finding that Real Madrid and Barcelona benefitted from illegal state aid.
‘Over the past 10 years, LaLiga spent +32 per cent more on players than Ligue 1; and significantly more on foreign players outside your own league compared to Ligue 1.’
He scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 PSG win as they rounded off a title-winning season in style
The letter by Labrune went on: ‘Finally, one final comment would be a simple request to treat players in our league and across European football with some respect.
‘When Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and others left your league – by choice – last year, rather than acknowledging their greatness (which you had weeks prior to their departure) you commented on their age and brandished our league as being ‘like the league of legends given the age of some players.’
‘Now your disrespectful smears seem to be directed towards Kylian Mbappe who is widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s greatest players and who simply didn’t join your league, by choice, despite having received a similar offer.
‘Unlike you, Ligue 1 lauds and promotes players both in our league and across Europe – including those in your league.
‘Someone in your various positions might be wise to consider the same.’
Mbappe was both top scorer and best player in Ligue 1 following another prolific season
After Mbappe turned down Real, Tebas launched an attack on PSG and their Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
He said: ‘What PSG is going to do by re-signing Mbappe with large amounts of money after losing 700 million euros in the last seasons and having 600 million euros in salary tables, is an INSULT to football.
‘Al-Khelaifi is as dangerous as the Super League.’
PSG persuaded Mbappe to stay with them by promising sweeping changes to how the club is run following another failure in the Champions League this season.
They lost in dramatic fashion to Real in the last-16 of the competition, meaning Ligue 1 was their only piece of silverware in 2021-22.
FULL LA LIGA STATEMENT
‘Faced with Kylian Mbappé’s possible announcement of remaining at Paris Saint-Germain, LaLiga wants to state that this type of agreement threatens the economic sustainability of European football, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs and sporting integrity at risk in the medium term, not only from European competitions, but also from our domestic leagues.
‘It is scandalous that a club like PSG, which last season lost more than 220 million euros, after having accumulated losses of 700 million euros in recent seasons (even declaring income from sponsorships of a very dubious amount) with a cost of sports staff around 650 million for this 21/22 season, can face an agreement of these characteristics while those clubs that could accept the arrival of the player without seeing their wage bill compromised, are left without being able to sign him.
‘For all of the above, LaLiga is going to file a complaint against PSG before UEFA, administrative and tax authorities in France and before the competent bodies of the European Union to continue defending the economic ecosystem of European football and its sustainability. .
‘On previous occasions, LaLiga has already made complaints against PSG for non-compliance with UEFA’s financial fair play as a result of which UEFA harshly sanctioned PSG, although the CAS revoked them in a strange resolution.
‘LaLiga and many European football institutions were hopeful that with the entry of the PSG president, Mr. Nasser Al-Khelaifi, into European football management bodies such as the former UEFA or the ECA Presidency, he would refrain from carrying out these practices knowing the serious damage they cause, but it has not been like that, quite the opposite. Being PSG with unacceptable salary masses, with large economic losses in previous seasons, it assumes an impossible investment in this situation, which undoubtedly implies non-compliance with the current economic control regulations not only of UEFA, but of French football itself. .
‘These behaviors denote even more that the state clubs do not respect or want to respect the rules of an economic sector as important as football, key to the sustainability of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
‘This type of behavior led by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of PSG, due to his status as a member of the former UEFA, president of the ECA, is a danger to European football at the same level as the Super League.’