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Florentino Perez is behind Barcelona’s LaLiga summit boycott, Javier Tebas claims



Javier Tebas has claimed Florentino Perez pressured Barcelona into refusing to attend LaLiga’s general assembly in Dubai, to be held on Wednesday.

Real Madrid and Barca both announced last week that they would not be attending the meeting, calling it “illegal” under league rules and “completely inappropriate” given the expenses involved.

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LaLiga has said that hosting the assembly in Dubai is part of a wider push for growth in the Middle East region, and clubs have the option of participating via videoconference if they prefer not to attend.

Madrid and LaLiga — led by Perez and Tebas — have been at loggerheads over a series of issues in recent years, including Madrid’s support for the Super League, LaLiga’s €2 billion CVC investment deal and the league’s management of television rights.

“Real Madrid will be present via video call, as other clubs have in other assemblies, so they’ll be here,” LaLiga president Tebas said, during a talk with Spanish media in Qatar on Tuesday. “The curious thing is that they’ll be represented by Clifford Chance, who are the same lawyers as for [Super League backers] A22.”

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“We don’t know [why Barcelona aren’t attending] right now,” Tebas added. “The assembly has been planned since Sept. 6. [Barca] were due to attend through their treasurer Ferran Oliver and director of football Mateu Alemany until three days ago. I think they got a phone call from ‘we-all-know-who’, and get in line… [That person is] Florentino [Perez].”

LaLiga have said that the trip to the Middle East will allow clubs to “experience at first hand the consumer entertainment habits of [the region’s] people, the industry and the kinds of businesses that operate there” including networking sessions and an investment summit, as well as the general assembly itself.

The league released a report last week claiming plans for a Super League — an idea pioneered by Madrid president Perez — would “destroy national leagues in the medium term.”

“Real Madrid must have lost my telephone number,” Tebas said on Tuesday. “I’m always here, whenever they want, but we won’t do what they want. That’s the difference… Not coming to Dubai, they act like kids. We believe in totally different models of football. Theirs would destroy the other.”



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