Former Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano believes that Barcelona and Real Madrid will abandon La Liga for a European league if their dominance of La Liga continues.
The two Spanish giants lost just six games between them last season and third place Valencia finished 25 points behind champions Barcelona. This season they won their opening match by a combined 11-0 and Valdano says that the gap between the Barca and Real and the rest of the league was likely to get bigger.
“In the future Madrid and Barcelona will have to look to teams that are going at the same speed, and that will lead to a European league,” he told Cadena Ser radio.
“Before I defended Real Madrid’s interests but now I see things from a different perspective. The gap between the big two and the rest is getting ever larger. If you look to the future you have the feeling that it will only get worse. Two teams which have the rest of the world as their market and the others only their local community. There will come a time when that won’t be convenient for the two big clubs either.”
The dominance of Barca and Real derives in part from their control of revenue from TV rights, which gives them a far bigger share of the pot than rivals in other major European leagues. Spain has yet to adopt the system of collective bargaining and income sharing used in other competitions like the Barclays Premier League.
Javier Faus, a vice president of Barca, said in February the club would like to see an expanded Champions League and floated the idea of reducing the number of clubs in top domestic divisions to free up time for more continental matches. However, he said it was unlikely Barca or Real would ever quit domestic competition entirely.
“We are going through a period of transition, it depends what happens in Spain and other leagues,” Valdano told Cadena Ser. :The problem is that the Premier League works, Germany works. There is a lot of passion for football. I don’t see them being very enthusiastic about leaving their national leagues.”