Real and Barca may be forced to share TV cash


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The Independent Online

Spain's centre-right People's Party (PP) plans to push Real Madrid and Barcelona to find consensus with their La Liga rivals on a more equitable distribution of income from television rights, according to PP policy maker Miriam Blasco.

Polls suggest the PP is heading for an election victory over the ruling Socialists on Sunday and Blasco, an Olympic gold medallist in judo and PP sports policy spokesperson in the Senate, said it was vital the less wealthy clubs had a fair slice of the TV rights pie.

"You have to support the small teams as well, because it's true that the Spanish league would not exist if it was not working for all the clubs," said Blasco."It's also true that Real and Barcelona sell much more than any other club so I agree that they should get the biggest share," she added. "But I believe that the other clubs should get what they deserve because their current revenues are much smaller."

Under the current system, Real and Barça, the world's richest clubs by revenue, negotiate their own deals and between them take half the annual pot of around €600m (£513m).

Barça earned almost €180m from TV contracts in the 2009-10 season, including non-Spanish deals, with Real reaping just under €160m, according to the latest Deloitte Football Money League published in February. A study last year by Sport+Markt, a consulting firm, showed the pair earned almost 19 times more from TV than the smallest clubs in Spain's top division, by far the biggest gap in the major European leagues.

Seville have fronted a recent bid to persuade the pair to reintroduce collective bargaining and share the cash more equitably, accusing them of creating a situation in which only they are capable of winning the league.

The problem has been exacerbated by the financial crisis, which has dented income from advertising and sponsorship. "Football is living beyond its means and only two clubs are viable," Blasco said. "If it [the league] collapses then Real and Barça will lose, too. We have to find a consensus."