Spanish La Liga Clubs Approve CVC Deal

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Spanish La Liga football clubs approved the proposed investment of private equity firm CVC, despite votes against from Real Madrid and Barcelona on the condition individual clubs can opt out of the deal, La Liga’s president Javier Tebas said.

Facing fierce opposition from the country’s two leading clubs to the plan that initially targeted 2.7 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in investment, CVC modified its original proposal shortly before the vote, allowing clubs in La Liga to take part on a voluntary basis.

The deal was approved by 38 out of La Liga’s 42 clubs, with Real Madrid , Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, who are all owned by their members, voting against. Second division club Real Oviedo was the other club to oppose it.

La Liga President Javier Tebas told a news conference after the vote that if Real, Barca and Athletic choose not to join the deal, the investment is likely to total between 2.1 billion and 2.2 billion euros.

Spanish La Liga president Javier Tebas

He added that CVC would receive 11% of revenue from television rights over the next 50 years in exchange for pouring money into LaLiga, which covers Spain’s top two soccer divisions, although the figure would drop to 8-9% if the clubs opted out.

Tebas said the deal, called “Boost La Liga”, would strengthen clubs and give them funds to spend on new infrastructure and modernisation projects as well as increasing how much they can spend on players. But it has met fierce opposition from Real and Barca as well as the Spanish football federation.

Real Madrid has said it is planning to launch civil and criminal lawsuits against La Liga’s Tebas and CVC Capital’s chief Javier de Jaime Guijarro over the planned deal.

Barcelona President Joan Laporta criticised the deal last week, saying he was not ready to accept “mortgaging the club’s television rights for the next 50 years”, even though the cash injection could have allowed the club to sign Lionel Messi to a new contract rather than join Paris St Germain.

Any clubs remaining outside the deal will not surrender any of their earnings but will not receive a share of the CVC funds. However they will not be able to go back to selling their own TV rights as the collective sale is stipulated in law.

Tebas said the league had managed to grow in the last few years in spite of Real and Barca opposing changes it has made, such as centralising television rights in 2015, adding they did not wish to see the league develop as they were behind the bid to launch the European Super League.

“Real Madrid and Barcelona try and block everything we do but we keep growing anyway will continue to grow whether all clubs agree this deal or not,”  Tebas said.

“They want most of the money to flow to them.”

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

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