Warning for Spanish pair over TV cash

MPs urge Real and Barça to agree redistribution of TV money to help solve financial crisis in La Liga

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 policymaker 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 since 2000, 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, a candidate to become Spain's top sports official after the election.

"It's also true that Real Madrid and Barcelona sell much more than any other club so I agree that they should get the biggest share," added the 47-year-old, who is standing for the lower house in the city of Alicante. "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.

The richest clubs in the English Premier League, which has a system of collective bargaining and income sharing, earned about 1.7 times more than their smaller rivals.

Seville have fronted a recent bid to persuade Real and Barça to reintroduce collective bargaining and share the cash more equitably, accusing them of "stealing" from their domestic rivals and 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 and helped tip many clubs into administration.

"Football is living beyond its means and only two clubs are viable as things stand," Blasco said. "There are more and more clubs in administration and if it collapses then Real Madrid and Barcelona will lose, too.

"What we have to do is find a consensus and what we are aiming to do is start a dialogue with everyone and act as intermediaries in the talks."

Speaking at a forum in Doha on yesterday, Barça president Sandro Rosell reiterated the club's stance that they were prepared to accept limited revenue sharing but would not agree to a reduction in their TV rights income.

Club officials have said that from the 2015-16 season onwards, when new TV contracts would come into force, Real and Barça are prepared to share some of the extra money that was negotiated with media companies.

However, analysts have said that would likely cement their dominance for years to come and have noted that in the current economic climate it is not certain that the new contracts will be worth more than current deals.

"We will never reduce in absolute terms our [TV] income, but in a relative sense, yes, it will be reduced," Rosell told the Aspire4Sport conference. "It has to happen step by step, little by little because we have to fulfill our budget," he added.

Blasco, who became the first Spanish woman to win an Olympic gold at the Games in Barcelona in 1992, stressed that the PP was not planning to legislate to force change on Real and Barça.

The professional football league (LFP), which used to negotiate TV contracts on behalf of Spanish clubs, is not functioning correctly and needs a helping hand to sort out the financial problems afflicting soccer, she added.

"We cannot control something that is beyond our influence," Blasco said. "But what is true is that the LFP needs to rethink the way it operates.

"It seems the Spanish soccer federation is working well but there are more problems in the LFP and it is there where we probably need to lend a hand to help it function more effectively."

Turning to Spanish sports in general, Blasco said a new PP government would make a wide-ranging assessment of what changes needed to be made to the current development model to help it adapt to the challenges thrown up by the financial crisis.

While Spanish professional athletes such as Rafa Nadal and the national football and basketball teams are enjoying great success, some of the lower profile Olympic sports are suffering from a lack of funding, she added.

"We have come to realise that the Spanish sports model is 20 years out of date. It was created for Barcelona 1992, but things have changed since then and the model needs updating."

Suggested Topics
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Sport
sport
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed