He is favorable for financial fair play, to oppose clubs like Manchester City and PSG. He is a supporter of the organization of matches at noon or in Miami. He is in the war against the presidents of Real Madrid, the UEFA, and FIFA. He is Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish Professional League, who has sharp opinions, a lot of ideas and a lot of enemies.
Javier Tebas was born in 1962 in San Jose, Costa Rica, where his mother taught psychology at the Institute of Hispanic Culture. He then joined the family in Huesca, Spain, then Zaragoza, where he earned his law degree at the Faculty of Law. That’s about all that we know about the youth of Javier Tebas, the current president of the Professional Football League (LFP). Strangely enough, people who met him in university benches or when he was a far-right activist have a memory that flinches when it comes to evoking the most influential figure in Spanish football, a man who does have the language in his pocket and clear ideas.
Elected the head of La Liga in April 2013, Tebas strived to end one of the great evils of Spanish football, indebtedness, imposing strict financial control on professional clubs. Condemned to administrative relegation, Murcia (in 2014) and Elche (the following year) will pay the price, while clubs like Eibar or Alaves take on the costume of good students. He was inflexible and relegated us without giving us any extra time to cover our 3.5 million debt, while television rights were supposed to bring us much more, regrets Salvador Mas Climent, the spokesman for Salvemos al Elche.
Tebas was probably interested in Eibar, remaining in the first division, while its stadium does not meet the standards. He punished a city, a hundred-year-old club and all its supporters in an arbitrary way, laments Jose Maldini, another member of Salvemos al Elche. It was a way for him to show his strength and send a message to other clubs in Spain, “If you do not do what I say, well you will get off.”
Re-elected in 2016 at the helm of Spanish football, Tebas became a sort of “great VRP La Liga” around the globe, with the idea of eventually exceed the profitability king of the Premier League. The boss of the “Best Championship in the World” (according to him) opens offices of the LFP in Asia (China, India, Singapore), Africa (South Africa, Nigeria), the Middle East (Dubai), the States And Europe (Belgium), tweets in Arabic or Catalan.
Ambitious and determined, Javier Tebas was not afraid to make enemies. He is more like a collector. Last year, he was delighted to see Angel Maria Villar, former president of the Spanish Federation (1988-2017), sentenced for theft and breach of trust. In January, he attacked the FIFA president.
“[Gianni] Infantino assured us that he would consult with us on all matters concerning professional football and he did not do so since he decided to increase the number of countries participating in the World Cup without even ask us our opinion, he fumed in the columns of a French newspaper. These are not ways. Infantino behaves like [Sepp] Blatter, who makes decisions on his own, without worrying about anyone. FIFA must change. “
Opposed behind the scenes by the all-powerful President of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, Tebas has embarked on a war against the “upstarts” and “new rich” of European football, making financial fair play his playground on a continental scale. “PSG should no longer have the right to play the Champions League. This club creates artificial inflation that disrupts the economy. The recruitment of Neymar does not correspond to the law of supply and demand. I looked at the accounts of PSG and Manchester City last five seasons. I analyzed the national and international television rights, the ticketing and the various benefits of their stadium and I concluded that the commercial revenues of these clubs exceeded those of well-known brands such as Manchester United or Real Madrid.”
Ironically, his own salary was multiplied by three in the summer, while he was wooed by the Italian League, which earned him the wrath of former coach Javier Clemente. “Congratulations Tebas, you did it! 1.2 million euros. Not bad, this little salary, it would be fair for the club presidents to have a similar one.” The interested party, Tebas, did not react to this. Instead, he continues to advance, against all odds, with a smile and a teasing eye.