Speculation has mounted over the years of a possible strike by top Spanish clubs in The Primera Division over a financial debacle that is threatening a war between the football clubs in Spain’s top division against Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
These rumours have intensified this month after a number of wealthier clubs have suggested a break away from Spain’s top two in order to create a new league. This is all down to a row over the income of television revenue. Other top European leagues such as The Premier League and The Bundesliga see their television money distributed equally throughout each individual club from the likes of Manchester United all the way down to Wigan Athletic.
However clubs in Spain are left to negotiate deals on their own accord. Madrid and Barcelona’s popularity throughout the world sees them succumb to the most lucrative deals leaving the other clubs in La Liga struggling to find a deal that meets their specifications.
The contrast of revenue generated from television rights from the league’s top two and the remaining eighteen is staggering. Madrid and Barcelona net approximately €150million a season with the likes of Sevilla, Valencia and Atletico Madrid scraping just €30million. Despite these clubs competing in the top half of the league they are missing out on €120million per campaign as Los Blancos and The Blaugrana accumulate the majority of the revenue.
It has got to a point where the clubs now want the Government to intervene and implement rules and guidelines which sees the money shared out equally between all twenty clubs. Unsurprisingly Real and Barcelona are opposed to this scheme as they argue it may affect their performances in Europe (Champions League) if they cannot continue to generate a large source of income to bring in star players and pay their wages.
According to the secretary of state for sport, Jamie Lissavetzky, the Spanish government will not legislate regarding television revenue within the sport, instead insisting the hierarchies of the clubs should sit down and discuss the matter.
“I don’t believe that you would be happy to see an interventionist government.”
“It’s an issue they have to resolve themselves, there has to be self regulation. They have to sit down at the table and work out the best model.”
Although the Primera Division has once again produced a wonderful campaign of skill and flair which is famously accustomed to the Spanish way of football, the final standings of the league table does show a significant gap between the top two and the rest. Barcelona who went onto win the league title tallied up 99 points with Real just behind with 96. Third placed Valencia finished 25 points behind Los Blancos with Sevilla who made up the quartet for next season Champions League notching up 63 points.
It is as clear this season as it has ever been that the top two are genuinely in a league of their own in every department. Florentino Perez regenerated Madrid’s squad last summer by smashing the transfer record twice in the space of a week to lure Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo to the Bernabeu whilst Barcelona constructed a €66million deal to entice Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Italy.
Whilst they assemble their dream teams and attract the best players in the world, the other clubs in Spain are in limbo financially as they are suffering from crippling debts. It was also revealed this week by Sandro Rosell, a president candidate to succeed Joan Laporta at Barca, that they too are in a stratospheric debt of €489million. Spain’s top flight clubs are severely in the red as their total debts from the 2008/2009 campaign stood at €3.526billion, up from €3.49billion the previous campaign according to Professor Jose Maria Gay from Barcelona University who conducted the study.
The proposal of a new league in Spain to accompany other top flight clubs seems pretty far-fetched at present. Clubs want to be treated equally by having an equal share of the money to make the competitiveness of the league more fair and balanced. Something that La Liga is currently suffering from in their eyes.