(Reuters) - Spain's LaLiga president Javier Tebas has said teams in the Premier League are "financially doped" after they spent a record $1 billion in the January transfer window and outspent the rest of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues by almost four to one.
According to Tebas, the teams in English football's top division make multi-million dollar losses and UEFA should intervene to enforce financial fair play rules.
When contacted by Reuters, the Premier League said that the figures presented by LaLiga were not correct.
"We read, the "strength" of the Premier League, but it is a competition based on millionaire losses of the clubs, (their ordinary income is not enough for them) most of the clubs are 'financially doped'," Tebas wrote on Twitter as he shared a video where LaLiga's Corporate Director Javier Gomez discussed the issue.
"In LaLiga what we are looking for is that clubs spend what they can generate autonomously. Shareholders are allowed to support within certain limits," said Gomez.
"In the Premier League it is the opposite. Until June 2021, the Premiership and the Championship had lost 3000 million euros ($3.28 billion), the Spanish LaLiga lost 250 million euros. In the same period, the Premier League and Championship shareholders put in 3500 million euros, in Spain they put in 450 million euros.
"They are doping the clubs, they are injecting money that is not generated by the clubs. This puts the viability of a club at risk when this shareholder leaves. In our opinion, this is cheating because it drags down the rest of the leagues."
Gomez added that the Spanish league will "fight" for UEFA to restrict shareholders and sanction clubs no matter what league or country they are from.
A Premier League spokesperson said that in the period in question the losses were around 1 billion pounds ($1.24 billion), mainly caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with equity injected accounting for 1.6 billion pounds.
In addition, the league's spokesperson said that 10.5 billion pounds ($12.98 billion) in commercial and broadcasting revenue are secured for the next three seasons and the clubs, who adhere to UEFA-aligned controls, show long-term profitability.
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(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City; Editing by Toby Davis)