Javier Gomez has made invaluable contributions to the development of Spanish football and his recent connection with La Liga players from Saudi Arabia endears him to the hearts of many.
Gomez, who holds position as La Liga’s corporate director, said at a press briefing that he expects to have more Saudis playing in the Spanish league.
Explaining his ambition to establish a far-reaching and accommodating football management structure, Gomez said his adopted strategies will “most likely” get a “blockade” on his exit from the board. He also spoke about two key factors affecting the ongoing expansion plans outlined by Javier Tebas.
In Gomez’s opinion, La Liga needs to expand and compete favorably with the world’s top leagues such as the German Bundesliga and the English Premier League, which he considers as “key global rivals.”
“We’ve been overshadowed by the Bundesliga in terms of income and now, our efforts have brought us closer to the EPL,” he said.
“Five years before now, the Premier League doubled that of La Liga — 5.100 million euros against 3.7 million…The difference today is less than 1.500 million euro so we’re on the right track.”
Gomez admitted the dynamics of La Liga’s business is very important as it is in global football, adding that winning five games back-to-back boosts confidence and enables new initiatives.
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“We’re constantly growing in this business and sport,” he said, “and our brand is growing in value. This is something we need to sustain productivity because we are already reaping the dividends.”
Mr. Gomez reiterated his plans to bring in more players from Saudi Arabia, highlighting that he is not bothered that none of the new signings have debuted for their respective first and second-division clubs.
Over ten Saudi Arabian players joined La Liga in the last transfer window.
The football administrator’s major concern was the new sponsorship deals generated by La Liga through associations with multinational corporations and particularly, the Saudi Arabian government.
“We’re looking for long-term benefits and new sponsors have emerged which is good for the short-term,” he said. “Our Saudi Arabian initiative has given us greater international profile but, at the same time, it’s not easy to play in La Liga.”
He also made reference to David Villa, who played for Spain, Barcelona and now Al-Saad in Qatar.
“I remember how David Villa struggled when he joined when he arrived at Valencia,” Gomez continued. “Of course we’d like to have seen the Saudi’s in action here…However, some projects are done for various motives and this has been positive for our visibility.”
Gomez sounded out a warning on the viability of his current business model, saying he’s not sure if it’s a strategy that La Liga managers would like to entertain in the future.