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Context of 'January 8, 2011: La Coruna Fans Protest New Spanish TV Deal, Compare La Liga to Scottish Football'

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University of Barcelona professor Jose Maria Gay publishes a report into the finances of Spanish football clubs. The report paints a grim picture, showing that the 20 La Liga clubs owed a total of €3.5bn in the 2008-2009 season, a €40m increase from the previous term. The report also shows the slowing pace of revenue growth in 2008-2009—down from 10 percent to 4 percent—and total expenses of €1.7bn, up €249m. Salary costs, in particular player wages, accounted for 85 percent of turnover. [Forbes, 5/19/2010]

Entity Tags: Jose Maria Gay

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nassar Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, agrees to buy a majority stake in Malaga football club for €36m from current president Fernando Sanz. “The agreement has already been notified to the Spanish Sports Council and will be completed shortly, given that said public body has provided its verbal approval of the agreement’s terms and conditions,” says the club. Al-Thani, who will also assume the club’s debt, is extremely wealthy and manages a business empire based in the United Arab Emirates, which employs around 3,000 people and operates in more than 30 countries. His interests include hotel chains, shopping centres, mobile phone companies, car dealerships, and a bank. Malaga’s highest ever finish in the Spanish top flight is seventh, and they have been relegated to the second tier frequently. They recently finished 17th out of 20 clubs in Spain’s Premiera Division. Al-Thani comments, “Our goal is to help Malaga take the necessary steps to consolidate its presence in La Liga and to reinforce the excitement and hopes of the supporters.” [Reuters, 6/26/2011]

Entity Tags: Malaga Club de Futbol, Fernando Sanz, Abdullah Bin Nassar Al-Thani

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Some Spanish football clubs fail to back a proposed agreement on how to share income from collectively-sold domestic television rights from the 2015-16 season. Under the agreement, the largest two Spanish clubs, Read Madrid and Barcelona, would share 34 percent of all income, Atletico Madrid and Valencia would share 11 percent, the remaining 16 top-tier Spanish clubs would split 45 percent equally, and there would be parachute payments for relegated clubs. The proposal is opposed by Sevilla, Zaragoza, Villarreal, Real Sociedad, Athletic Bilbao, and Espanyol, with Malaga undecided. “Only Real Madrid and Barcelona stand to gain from this,” says Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido, spokesman for the rebels. “The two giants have earned €1,500 million more than the next club in the last 10 years, and with this agreement in place four clubs—Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Valencia—will all earn more in the next six years than a team that finishes third in the league.” The rebels propose a different agreement under which revenue would be shared more equally. “Of the 79 leagues played 51 have been won by Real Madrid or Barcelona, which is 65 percent against 35 percent for the rest,” adds del Nido. “In the last 10 years the two big clubs have won 80 percent of the titles with 20 percent for the rest. And most significantly, in the last five years only these two have won the title. If this continues the league title will have been sold in advance for the next 10 years.” [Soccerlens, 11/18/2010]

Entity Tags: Jose Maria del Nido, Villarreal Club de Fútbol, S.A.D., FC Barcelona, Sevilla Fútbol Club S.A.D., Valencia, Club Atlético de Madrid, S.A.D., Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona, Real Zaragoza, S.A.D., Real Sociedad de Fútbol, S.A.D.

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Spanish football clubs conclude a new TV revenue-sharing agreement, which has been under negotiation for some time (see (November 17, 2010)). Under the deal, Real Madrid and Barcelona will share 35 percent of TV revenues; the second and third most popular clubs, Atletico Madrid and Valencia, will share 11 percent; and the remaining 16 clubs will get 45 percent between them. In addition, for the first time the Spanish league will offer a “parachute payment” to protect teams that are relegated to a lower tier: the sudden drop into the second division—and large fall in TV income—had previously been difficult for clubs to handle as they still had to pay high wages despite playing in a lesser competition. The unequal distribution draws some protest. For example, Sevilla sporting director Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo comments that the Spanish league “reminds me more and more of Scotland,” which has been dominated by two clubs for decades. Sports Illustrated and Guardian columnist Sid Lowe adds that the “inequality” between Barcelona and Read Madrid on the one hand and the other 18 clubs on the other is now “enshrined,” commenting that the other 18 teams in Spain “no longer aspire… to be the best; but they [do] aspire to stay in business.” [Sports Illustrated, 1/14/2011]

Entity Tags: Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, Sevilla Fútbol Club S.A.D., FC Barcelona, Sid Lowe

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Fans of Deportivo La Coruna protest a new agreement on how television revenue will be shared among Spanish football clubs at the team’s La Liga match against Barcelona. Under the new agreement, Barcelona will receive approximately 17 percent of all revenue, while La Coruna will get less than three percent (see Shortly Before January 8, 2011). One banner displayed by the fans reads, “We don’t want a Scottish league.” [Sports Illustrated, 1/14/2011]

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

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