‘Match fixing is La Liga’s cancer’

Javier Tebas has made clear his resolve to eradicate match fixing from Spanish football, as well as clean up clubs’ finances.

The League has been hit with an investigation launched last week into Levante’s 4-0 home defeat to Deportivo from mid-April, with players from Los Granotes coming under suspicion.

Newly elected Spanish Football League (LFP) President Tebas is keen that ‘the small minority’ that attempt to fix games in Spain are removed under his watch.

“The struggle against match fixing is something I am criticised for, but I say the same as Blatter and Platini and do the same as them,” Tebas told Desayunos Deportivos de Europa Press today.

“It is a minority that are the problem, affecting one per cent, but it is a cancer that must be eradicated as whilst it has a small effect, if it is not corrected immediately it can spread and impact our sport.

“I will not stop. In the last two seasons I have found more collaboration, more awareness.

“The Levante case? Among the players they can fight and accuse and afterwards say what they want. The rest I will not speak about, but match fixing is not for an advantage for a team, do not forget that it is tied to the world of gambling.”

Another issue affecting Spanish football at the moment is the debt that a number of clubs find themselves in.

“A short term goal is to clean up the clubs, limiting what they spend in several aspects, not just salary.

“We must be able to control it and if, in four seasons, we have been unable to reduce the debt of the clubs who are in a difficult situation, then we will have failed. But we are capable, it is possible.

“I hope to have a League in four years that is economically sound. Yes, but with patience, it will take a lot of effort.

“I ask for understanding through the media from many clubs because we will have a tough road, but the League will come out much stronger.

“There is approximately €580m debt in tax, a reduction of eight per cent [since last year].

“I am concerned about all the clubs and we have an active policy with creditors, but I am hopeful that the financial entities can work with them, and the AFE (Professional Footballers’ Association) and the tax authorities.

“The LFP intend for those with €150m debt drop down to €80m, but we cannot do it over 24 hours.”

Tags AFE Debt Hacienda LFP Match-fixing Tax Tebas