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Context of 'May 18, 2010: Report Shows Massive Debts of La Liga Clubs'

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The Popular Party led by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar is voted out of power on March 14, 2004 (see March 14, 2004). In December 2004, the incoming prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of the Socialist party, will claim that shortly after the election Aznar wiped out all computer records at the prime minister’s office from the period between the Madrid train bombings on March 11 (see 7:37-7:42 a.m., March 11, 2004) and the elections three days later. Zapatero will tell a parliamentary commission: “There was nothing, absolutely nothing… everything had been wiped. There is nothing from March 11 to March 14 in the prime minister’s office.” Only some paper documents remain. During those days, the ruling party strongly asserted that ETA, a Basque separatist group, was behind the bombings, even as investigators quickly uncovered overwhelming evidence that Islamist militants were the real culprits (see Evening, March 11, 2004, March 12, 2004, 4:00 p.m., March 13, 2004). Zapatero will accuse Aznar’s government of having tried to frame ETA for the bombings. “It was massive deceit,” he says. [Guardian, 12/14/2004]

Entity Tags: Euzkadi Ta Azkatasuna, Jose Maria Aznar, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

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

Real Mallorca, which finished fifth in the recently concluded La Liga season, applies to go into bankruptcy administration. The club has a debt of €85m (US$103m). Majority shareholder Mateu Alemany comments: “Over the past two years, Mallorca has suffered a very complex economic situation, with serious financial problems and an inability to meet its commitments. This is a legal instrument that enables Mallorca to see the future in another way—to have a budget structure that has logic and controls debt, to take stringent budgetary measures to bring spending in line with earning capacity.” According to a recently published report into Spanish football finances (see May 18, 2010), Mallorca made a loss of €5.2m for the 2008-2009 season, on revenues of €28.1m. Its playing staff budget for the 2009-2010 season was €34.6m. [Forbes, 5/19/2010]

Entity Tags: Mateu Alemany, Real Mallorca

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

UEFA bans the Spanish football club Real Mallorca from European competition because it is not in compliance with its financial regulations. Mallorca has had a successful season and qualified for the Europa League, but went into administration in May (see (May 19, 2010)). Villareal is set to take Mallorca’s place in the competition if an appeal is unsuccessful. [Sport Business, 7/23/2010]

Entity Tags: Real Mallorca, Union of European Football Associations

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Real Mallorca appeals to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to reverse a recent decision banning the club from next season’s Europa League. The club was banned from European competition (see (July 22, 2010)) because it is currently in administration and not in compliance with UEFA’s financial guidelines (see (May 19, 2010)). At the same time as the appeal, Mallorca issues a statement pointing out that the ban will make its financial situation worse, as it would deprive the club “of a series of revenue in different concepts, such as ticketing, sponsorship, and income from the competition.” It adds, “Ethically and legally, RCD Mallorca believes reason is on their side and [the club] will not relent in the effort to show that he has earned the right to challenge the Europa League.” [Goal, 7/26/2010]

Entity Tags: Real Mallorca, Union of European Football Associations

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

UEFA upholds a decision banning Spanish football team Real Mallorca from European competition (see (May 19, 2010), (July 22, 2010), and July 26, 2010). “At its meeting on July 14, 2010, the club financial control panel unanimously concluded that the licence had not been correctly awarded to RCD Mallorca and that the club did not sufficiently fulfil its financial obligations,” says UEFA of the reason for the ban. Mallorca indicates that it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. [AFP, 7/30/2010]

Entity Tags: Real Mallorca, Union of European Football Associations

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

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