Super League only way to stop ‘financial doping’ of ‘state clubs’ like Man City & PSG, claims Barcelona president Laporta
- 12 teams wanted to break away in 2021
- Proposal was shot down and scrapped
- Big spenders dominate domestic game
WHAT HAPPENED? The reigning Ligue 1 champions are bankrolled by Qatar Sports Investments, while the Premier League title holders are owned by Sheikh Mansour – the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. Their big spending has made life increasingly difficult for domestic and European rivals, with Laporta claiming that a much-maligned Super League proposal – which was previously shot down in April 2021 – needs to be reconsidered.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking at Barca’s General Assembly, Laporta has said: “The financial situation of football clubs is very worrying. The clubs assume all of the costs and all of the risks. 38 clubs from the Spanish league have had to mortgage their future. Barca did not consider [the Super League] from a financial point of view. We believed we could do things better for the interests of the club.
“European football is suffering in order to attract young people and if you add into that, the state-run clubs, there is an evident destabilisation. The previous board tried to compete with the state clubs, something which is impossible to do. These clubs are financially doping with support from outside. That means that clubs like ours have to choose between having stars or suffering economically.
“It is for that reason that we want to support the Super League, a more equal competition that will help confront these problems. The clubs are going to govern their own destiny. It makes me laugh when state clubs say that the teams of the Super League say we are the rich.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona were one of 12 founding members to float a Super League proposal that received widespread criticism once it became public, with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus also forming part of those plans.
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WHAT NEXT? The Liga giants have had to work hard on cutting costs in recent times, as debts at Camp Nou passed the €1 billion (£1.13bn/$1.42bn) mark, and they cannot call upon the support of a billionaire owner to help them compete with those splashing the cash elsewhere.