Premier League slammed for 'cheating' by La Liga chief after $1bn January transfer splurge

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La Liga's corporate general director has accused the Premier League of "cheating", after clubs spent an accumulative $1 billion (£815m) in January.
  • Premier League spent $1bn in January
  • Chelsea surpassed four European leagues combined
  • Gomez called on UEFA to take action

WHAT HAPPENED? That's according to a recent study by Deloitte's Sports Business Group (via ESPN), with Enzo Fernandez's record £106.8m (£131.6m) transfer to Chelsea from Benfica both the largest and latest deal to go through. Chelsea alone were responsible for 37 per cent of money spent, amassing a greater total than all clubs in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1 combined. Amid this clear English monopoly in the transfer market, La Liga corporate chief Javier Gomez has called on UEFA to do more.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We are aware there is a lot of talk about how LaLiga's economic control means Spanish clubs sign less than Premier League clubs," Gomez said in a video posted by La Liga president Javier Tebas on Twitter. "The reality is that at LaLiga we want clubs to spend what they can afford and generate themselves, that is to say their own revenues. It is true that shareholders are also allowed to support the club and put money in to spend more than the club itself can generate, but within certain limits.

"Essentially, [in England] they are 'doping' the club. They are injecting money not generated by the club for it to spend, which puts the viability of the club at risk if the shareholder leaves. In our opinion, that is cheating, because it drags down the rest of the leagues. That is our fight, demanding that UEFA implements a new economic regulation that prevents the shareholder of a club from putting in more than a certain amount and that it enforces this rule and sanctions non-compliant clubs."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: In the video, Gomez pointed towards financial dominance since June 2021, but January alone was sufficient evidence to highlight the drastic increase in expenditures across England. Behind Chelsea in the spending charts were newly promoted Bournemouth, with top-flight English clubs' expenditure almost three times higher than a year ago. Overall in 2022-23, Premier League sides spent £2.8bn ($3.5bn), comfortably surpassing the record of £1.9bn ($2.3bn) previously set in 2017-18.


enzo fernandez chelsea


Cody Gakpo Liverpool

WHAT NEXT? While the complaints from Spain and elsewhere will likely rage on, UEFA have yet to comment on the introduction of more stringent laws recording money spent, despite setting a limit on contract lengths from 2023-24 due to Chelsea's dealings this term.