European and Spanish champions Barcelona will “fight” to stop the best players joining the Premier League, says the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The Premier League’s new £5.1bn television deal will give English clubs huge financial power from the 2016-17 season. But European champions Barcelona feel they can combat the threat.
“We are going to fight against the Premier League. We want to have the best players in our league,” Bartomeu told BBC Sport.
“It’s true that the Premier League right now is the best league competition in the world, not only in a sporting way but in terms of income too.”
La Liga has been dominated by Barcelona and Real Madrid over the last decade, but Bartomeu hints that the financial power of the Premier League will cause Spanish clubs to change how they do business:
“The Premier League is a reference point. La Liga are learning a lot of things from them. We have a new law that obliges the clubs to sell all the TV rights jointly because we have to follow the Premier League.
“Barcelona and Real Madrid are the biggest clubs but others like Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla or Athletic Bilbao are doing a nice job.
“We want people to watch our competition, not only the Premier League. On an individual club basis, we know the competition is getting closer, not just with the Premier League but also Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich.”
It is interesting that hear Bartomeu’s comments as they closely resemble what Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said last week:
“The Bundesliga has to finally act. The English are overtaking us left, right and centre. When taking into account transfer market activity, in marketing terms, in TV money – anywhere, really.”
“The Bundesliga has to be careful not to fall further behind, I think. Anyone who follows the transfer market at the moment, within which English clubs work, knows their clubs are being fully upgraded. The Bundesliga has to be careful that we’re not emptied out.”
The massive new TV deal in England is one of the reasons why Financial Fair Play is getting thrown out, as it gives the English teams such a massive advantage over the rest of Europe ini terms of transfer fees and wages.