Kylian Mbappe transfer row intensifies as Ligue 1 chief escalates war with La Liga

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Vincent Labrune has said that Javier Tebas, who last week claimed Mbappe’s decision to sign a € 300m contract to remain at Paris Saint-Germain was “an insult to football”, has “denigrated” the French game with claims that are both unacceptable and manifestly false “

Kylian Mbappe smiles during a press conference after his new PSG deal was announced. (Getty Images)

The Kylian Mbappe transfer row has escalated further after the head of Ligue 1 wrote a letter to his opposite number in Spain calling out “disrespectful smears” and referring to Real Madrid and Barcelona benefiting from “illegal state aid.”

Vincent Labrune has said that Javier Tebas, who last week claimed Mbappe’s decision to sign a € 300m contract to remain at Paris Saint-Germain was “an insult to football”, has “denigrated” the French game with claims that are both unacceptable and manifestly false. ”

He also namechecked Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos leaving Spain “by choice” last summer – to join Mbappe at PSG, who have won eight of the past ten domestic titles. Mbappe, 23, signed a deal to remain in Paris until 2025 having reportedly verbally agreed to joining Real earlier in the campaign.

“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,” he said in a letter. “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.

“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, La Liga has spent 32 % more on players than Ligue 1 and significantly more on foreign players outside your own league compared to Ligue 1.

“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. The fact that you do this in your capacity of President of the European Leagues – which represents Ligue 1 – is not only conflicted (a topic on which you are also vocal against others) but also completely inappropriate. “

Tebas is not president of the European Leagues. He serves on the management board.

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Labrune added: “Finally, one 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 greatest (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 did not 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. On our end, we are pleased and proud that Ligue 1 has received a multitude of supportive calls from other leagues, clubs and European football stakeholders following your letter.”







La Liga chief Javier Tebas
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Image:

DAVID FERNANDEZ / EPA-EFE / REX)

Last week Tebas, who has regularly called out the financial imbalance across the game, said on Twitter: “What PSG is going to do by renewing Mbappe with large amounts of money (to know where and how he pays them) after € in recent seasons and having more than 600M € in salary, is an INSULT to football.

He added: “[PSG president, Nasser] Al-Khelaifi is as dangerous as the Super League. “

On Saturday, in a surprisingly strong statement, La Liga said it would be lodging complaints with UEFA, the French administrative courts and the European Union.

“On Kylian Mbappe’s possible announcement to stay at PSG, La Liga wishes to state that this type of agreement attacks the economic stability of European football, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs and the integrity of the sport, not only in European competitions, but also in domestic leagues, ”the statement read.

“It is scandalous that a club like PSG, which last season reported losses of more than € 220million after accumulating losses of more than € 700million in prior seasons (while reporting sponsorship income at doubtful valuation), with a squad cost around € 650million for this season, can close such an agreement, while those clubs that could afford the hiring of the player without seeing their wage bill compromised, are left without able to sign him. “

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