Javier Tebas, the controversial president of Spanish soccer’s LaLiga, has resigned from his position in a strategic move ahead of the organization’s upcoming presidential election.
Tebas, whose term as president was set to end on December 23, resigned in order to expedite the selection process for the next president, a process he will enter himself into.
Had he seen out his term, the appointment process would have been drawn out over the seasonal holidays and coincided with the presidential elections for the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Spanish soccer’s national governing body.
Now though it can proceed rapidly, with Tebas looking once again to consolidate power. The Costa Rica-born Spaniard Tebas is the favorite to retain his seat for a fourth term and is expected to run unopposed.
Tebas ran unopposed for the position all three previous times he was appointed, in 2013, 2016, and 2019, and is now the second-longest serving president in LaLiga’s modern history.
Despite counting on the support of LaLiga’s clubs consistently throughout his term, Tebas is a polarizing figure among both soccer fans and figures in the industry due to his tendency for outspoken comments.
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In October 2022, international pay-TV giant BeIN Media Group launched legal proceedings against Tebas, citing a breach of professional ethics after the Spaniard had made inflammatory remarks about the broadcaster.
This public feud also put the international rights for LaLiga that BeIN had held in jeopardy, showing the wide-ranging effects that Tebas himself has drawn on the league in the past.
Despite this, his drive for investment and the sustainability of the Spanish game has endeared him to a number of the higher-ups of Spanish clubs.
Most recently, the league revealed its Impulso has distributed around €1 billion ($1.09 billion) to its constituent clubs.
The project, which aims to revamp the league’s commercial outlook by distributing funding to clubs to utilize across a range of areas, was made possible due to €2 billion of funding from US investment group CVC, and €1.4 billion has already been dispensed to the league.
The money distributed to clubs is earmarked specifically to improve the clubs’ non-sporting outlooks, with 15% of the overall €2 billion allocated to debt resolution, 15% to financial fair play commitments, and the remaining 70% for growth of the clubs taking part.