Don’t want EPL to be economic leader among leagues: La Liga president

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Madrid, April 15 (IANS) La Liga president Javier Tebas said that Spain’s top flight clubs must close the financial gap with the English Premier League to stop it from becoming the leader in league football.

In the 2013-14 season the Premier League generated 3.26 billion pounds, compared to La Liga’s 1.51 billion pounds.

“We hope to grow so the Premier League does not become the biggest competition in the world and we can be at the same level economically,” Tebas was quoted as saying by BBC on Thursday.

“We do not want the Premier League as a leader one step ahead of the rest.”

The United States’ National Basketball Association (NBA) is widely considered to be the leading global basketball competition and attracts the best players from the across the world.

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Tebas, a 53-year-old lawyer, said, “If we fail to do this compete economically, the Premier League could become the NBA of football and that would not be good not for us, not for the sport.”

“We plan to work harder in the TV rights market and in the sponsorship market to get more money.”

Tebas believes Spain’s economic problems in recent years have helped La Liga teams become better at spotting talent and getting value for money for players than their English counterparts.

“The economic crisis made the clubs here utilise their capital better in selecting players,” he said.

“When you have less you have to work to find cheaper talent in the market. In this Spanish football has done pretty well.”

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However, Tebas said Leicester City’s remarkable EPL title challenge this season proves that the richest clubs do not always succeed.

“It is magnificent. It is literally a miracle what Leicester are doing and that they will qualify for the Champion’s League,” he said.

“That demonstrates that football is not all about the money, and that is a very positive thing,” La Liga president concluded.

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