Manchester City owners consider legal action over ‘financial doping’ comments

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Manchester City owners consider legal action over ‘financial doping’ comments

Manchester City’s owners say they are considering legal action after La Liga president Javier Tebas accused them of “financial doping”.

Tebas said City and Paris St-Germain had spent money from outside football and action should be taken to stop it.

He also said Girona, the club in which City’s owners bought a 44.3% stake last month, had tried to “cook the books” after taking players on loan from City.

“Mr Tebas’ statements are ill-informed and in parts pure fiction,” City said.

The City Football Group (CFG) added: “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.”

City were taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008 and this summer spent £215m – the most by any club in a transfer window.

“I need more money from TV, otherwise Manchester City with its oil will take all these players,” Tebas, head of Spain’s top flight, said at the Soccerex conference in Manchester on Wednesday.

European football’s governing body Uefa has already said it has no plans to investigate City over the Premier League club’s financial situation.

It is understood Tebas met City chief executive Ferran Soriano at the club’s Etihad Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The French football league has also criticised Tebas.

“The league strongly condemns the insulting comments regarding PSG made today by the president of La Liga,” it said in a statement.

“These undignified comments do not live up to the standards of an institution as respectable and high-performing as the Spanish league.”

Tebas criticises Girona deal

CFG added La Liga new boys Girona to a stable that also includes clubs in Australia, Japan, Uruguay and the US.

Over the course of the summer, Girona signed five City players on loan – Douglas Luiz, Marlos Moreno, Larry Kayode, Aleix Garcia and Pablo Maffeo.

Tebas said La Liga had stepped in to prevent the five being registered for far less than their correct value.

He said: “Some of the loan prices were too low.

“Five players coming from Man City are worth one euro each? It wasn’t one euro obviously but it would be unfaithful competition within the Spanish league if Girona were able to report these players in a certain way.”

Asked if he thought Girona were “cooking the books”, Tebas replied: “They were trying to but they didn’t manage to do it.”

Girona, are competing in the top tier of the Spanish league for the first time this season. They were set a limit of 80m euros to spend on their squad by La Liga following an assessment of the club’s financial position.

Despite the changes made at La Liga’s insistence, the club remain under that salary cap.

City did not charge Girona a loan fee for any of the five players they sent to the club, although that is not unusual in itself – they did not charge Celtic a loan fee for striker Patrick Roberts when he agreed another 12-month spell with the Scottish champions this summer.