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Financial fair play must continue during pandemic - La Liga chief

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RESENDING WITH UPDATED SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: NEWS CONFERENCE WITH LA LIGA PRESIDENT, JAVIER TEBAS, FILE FOOTAGE OF THE NOU CAMP, BARCELONA TRAINING, THE SANTIAGO BERNABEU, REAL MADRID TRAINING, THE WANDA METROPOLITANO AND THE MESTALLA

SHOWS:

MADRID, SPAIN (APRIL 7, 2020) (LA LIGA HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LA LIGA PRESIDENT, JAVIER TEBAS SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION)

"You'd have to consider for example the debts between European teams if they weren't paid, this could generate a domino effect."

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LA LIGA PRESIDENT, JAVIER TEBAS SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION)

"Spanish football on the 30 September or until the 30 September 2020 has got to collect payment for transfer rights from other European clubs worth 350 million euros. And obviously these obligations, it's very important that they are met because if they're not, if the European clubs don't pay the Spanish clubs well the Spanish clubs may not be able to pay other European clubs. This is why it is very important for the Financial Fair Play regulations to continue as they are."

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LA LIGA PRESIDENT, JAVIER TEBAS SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION)

"The different scenarios that we have been looking at with UEFA to go back to competing; the most probable ones are starting on 29 May, 6-7 June or the 28 June for the European leagues. So, we've still got time to get back to training before that and all the teams and the players are all carrying out individual training at home and also the physical trainers and their coaches are helping them do that. We're fully aware that this isn't the best possible conditions but of course is a very exceptional situation and we've never experienced anything like this."

6. WHITE FLASH

7. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LA LIGA PRESIDENT, JAVIER TEBAS SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION)

"Well, if the question you're referring to cancelling the season this isn't an option we're talking about. The only thing we're doing is to study different possible scenarios to see what would happen if we're playing behind closed doors, how that would negatively affect us. What will happen if it will be played with spectators and what affects that will have and what will happen if it's not played and how that will negatively affect us too. Our obligation is to assess the different situations but it's not one option we're actually considering and we're not considering at all that we're not going to get back to playing matches."

8. WHITE FLASH

9. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LA LIGA PRESIDENT, JAVIER TEBAS SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION)

"We're talking about 1 billion euros if we didn't get back to playing. 300 million euros if we're playing behind closed doors and a 150 million euros if we're going to get back to playing with spectators but the damage that has been caused would be about 150 million."

10. WHITE FLASH

11. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LA LIGA PRESIDENT, JAVIER TEBAS SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION)

"But when we're talking on a sporting level both in Spain and Europe, we're not considering this because we've still got a few more weeks to go before we even have to think about that. That decision will be made and will be studied at the time where physically due to the situation it will not be possible to finish the leagues because of the calendar. But we're not going to start this debate now because it's really something sterile and it will only generate conflicts of interest which is what's happening in other countries."

12. WHITE FLASH

13. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LA LIGA PRESIDENT, JAVIER TEBAS SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION)

"None of the big or medium-sized leagues should even start considering this conversation at the moment because I think it's subject to other sorts of interests."

BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

14. VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF CAMP NOU

15. CATALAN (LEFT) AND FC BARCLONA (RIGHT) FLAGS

16. FC BARCELONA BADGE AND NAME

17. PICTURE OF FC BARCELONA PLAYERS (LEFT TO RIGHT), FRENKIE DE JONG, GERARD PIQUE, LIONEL MESSI, SERGIO BUSQUETS AND SERGI ROBERTO

18. MESSI

BARCELONA, SPAIN (FEBRUARY 29, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

19. BARCELONA PLAYERS LIONEL MESSI AND ARTURO VIDAL WALKING ONTO TRAINING PITCH

20. TRAINING SESSION IN PROGRESS

21. BARCELONA COACH QUIQUE SETIEN WALKING ONTO TRAINING PITCH

22. SETIEN RUNNING THROUGH PLAYERS DURING TRAINING SESSION

23. TRAINING SESSION IN PROGRESS

24. MESSI AND TEAM PLAYERS TRAINING

25. VARIOUS OF PLAYERS WARMING UP

MADRID, SPAIN (MARCH 10, 2020) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL)

26. EXTERIOR OF REAL MADRID'S SANTIAGO BERNABEU STADIUM

27. EXTERIOR OF THE STADIUM READIN IN SPANISH (SANTIAGO BERNABEU STADIUM)

28. VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF SANTIAGO BERNABEU STADIUM

SPAIN (FILE - FEBRUARY 25, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

29. REAL MADRID PLAYERS PASSING BALL

30. REAL MADRID COACH ZINEDINE ZIDANE ATTENDING SESSION

31. CAPTAIN SERGIO RAMOS CHASING BALL

32. MIDFIELDER LUKA MODRIC / FORWARD GARETH BALE

33. SESSION IN PROGRESS

34. STRIKER KARIM BENZEMA DURING SESSION

35. ZIDANE

MADRID, SPAIN (FILE - 2019) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL)

45. VARIOUS OF INTERIOR OF WANDA METROPOLITANO STADIUM WITH THE STANDS EMPTY

46. WANDA METROPOLITANO BENCH

VALENCIA, SPAIN (MARCH 9, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

47. STADIUM MESTALLA VALENCIA

48. EXTERIOR OF STADIUM MESTALLA VALENCIA

49. CLOSED GATES VALENCIA CF

50. ACCESS GATES CLOSED

51. VALENCIA CF LOGO ON GATES

STORY: La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned against relaxing UEFA's financial fair play rules as clubs struggle to cope with a loss of income due to the pause in competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tebas has long talked of the need for the need to uphold the financial fair play rules, which oblige clubs to break even and are intended to prevent them from receiving unlimited amounts of money through inflated sponsorship deals.

English champions Manchester City were slapped with a two-year ban from European competition in February for flouting the regulations, although the European Club Association (ECA) has said the break-even rules could be relaxed due to the coronavirus situation.

Tebas expressed his opposition to such a proposal, however, citing the fact that Spanish clubs are owed 350 million euros in transfer fees, due to be paid by Sept. 30.

"It's important these obligations are met, because if these European clubs don't pay Spanish clubs the Spanish clubs may not be able to pay other European clubs," Tebas told reporters via video link on Tuesday.

"That's why it's important for the regulations to continue as they are and no-one tries to make the most of the circumstances and not pay."

Spain is the second worst-affected country by the virus in Europe behind Italy and is in the fourth week of a state of emergency. All professional soccer has been indefinitely postponed and players forced to train at home.

Tebas said teams could not begin training again until the state of emergency is lifted on April 26, but he was optimistic that the season could start up either on May 29, June 7 or June 28, most likely without spectators.

He also said the league would not consider declaring the season null and void until it was physically impossible to play the remaining 11 rounds of games, adding that such a scenario would cost Spanish football 1 billion euros.

Completing the season with matches without spectators would lead to a loss of about 300 million euros, he added.

"We have studied the economic effects of not completing the season, but on a sporting level we aren't even considering it," Tebas said.

"We won't have to think about that for a few weeks. We won't start that debate now as it would be sterile and only generate conflicts of interest such as we have seen in other countries. The biggest leagues should not even consider this for now."

(Production: Tim Hart)

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