Manchester City’s owners are reportedly prepared to take legal action by suing La Liga president Javier Tebas after he accused the club of financial doping.
Tebas has claimed City have been using Spanish side Girona – the club City’s owners bought a 44.3% stake of in August – to blatantly negate financial rules as he suggested the Manchester club had loaned Girona their players below the market rate.
The Spanish club is part-owned by Pep Guardiola’s brother Pere, and following the arrival of five City players on loan to the newly-promoted La Liga outfit, Tebas has accused the club of attempting to ‘cook the books’ by giving themselves a greater flexibility in the £73m budget which was imposed by Spain’s first division.
The La Liga president made his accusations public at the Soccerex conference in Manchester on Wednesday – where City chief Ferran Soriano was present – as Tebas said, via BBC Sport: “It’s a good thing that a club like Girona has a backing, but obviously there is a closer watch from La Liga to that club.
“We have already corrected some of the loan prices. They were [recorded as] too low and they increased them. On the books it looked like these players were almost free, when players are not free.
“They put the players on the books for a certain amount of money and we didn’t believe it was a real enough money in terms of their salaries, so we made them put them on the books for a higher amount.
“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.”
Tebas is understood to have already called on UEFA to investigate City for alleged financial doping however, the governing body currently has no plans to launch an enquiry.
Manchester City on the other hand have insisted that a majority of the players they send out on loan do not have fees included, and are adamant they have not breached any rules.
The City Football Group responded to Tebas’s claims as they said: “Mr Tebas’ statements are ill-informed and in parts pure fiction.
“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.”