'TV rights deal has to change, we can't compete with Barça'


Valencia's dire financial straits are not just due to the mismanagement of the club's former president Juan Soler. Real Madrid and Barcelona have also wasted plenty of money since the turn of the century but the financial cushions provided by their inflated shares of television revenues always break the fall.

Most players are reluctant to talk about the great TV rights divide but, as a Valencia fan, Albelda does not hold back. "I think the television contracts have to be changed," he says. "I wouldn't necessarily say that every team has to be paid the same amount but I do think the distribution has to be more even.

"Each year Valencia make around a third of the money made by Real and Barcelona and yet we are the third biggest club in Spain. And if that is the difference between Real Madrid and Valencia, imagine the difference between Real Madrid and the rest. It's very difficult to compete under those circumstances."

The stranglehold the big two have over the rest has helped Premier League clubs sign up those that Spain's second-tier sides can't keep hold of. "Valencia are competing with Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona and every year we have to sell them our best players," Albelda says. "[David] Villa goes to Barcelona, [Juan] Mata to Chelsea and so on. But we are still expected to compete with these teams and it is complicated."