Sevilla President José María del Nido says that the La Primera clubs had a ‘heated debate’ on Monday at a meeting convened by Atlético Madrid and Valencia to address the distribution of television money and the organisation of Spanish football.
Attending the meeting on Monday in Madrid were Manuel Llorente (Valencia), Fernando Roig (Villarreal), José María del Nido (Sevilla), Josu Urrutia (Athletic Bilbao), Francisco Pernía (Racing Santander), Agapito Iglesias (Real Zaragoza) and Raúl Martín Presa (Rayo Vallecano).
Clubs are seeking a fairer share-out of television revenue and are hoping to renegotiate a contract signed in November, 2010 which sees Real Madrid and Barcelona get 35% of income between them, with Atlético Madrid and Valencia each receiving 5.5% and 11% set aside for relegated clubs; the remainder is then split between the rest of the division according to different criteria.
Afterwards Del Nido said:
“An overwhelming majority of Primera clubs support what we are doing and want a fairer, reasonable share which is more proportional to what each one contributes. The debate was extensive, at times heated, and it was clear the big two [Barcelona and Real Madrid] did not want to debate over television rights. All the represented clubs are adamant they will continue working to provide the league with new expertise and an organisation much more in agreement with the professional football it represents. In short, we all understand this is a product all first and second division teams are putting into operation and we all have to receive the benefits.”
Jesús Nuño, an adviser to the Málaga President, explained later that ‘the issue of television rights is crucial’ and that his club ‘is not siding with to any group’ as it has a ‘new investor who is bringing important capital into the club in order to meet costs’. Nuño added:
“Barcelona and Real Madrid’s position is correct because they say they are open to discuss any aspect of this. With regard to television rights their position is very strong because they receive the best part of the money, but they are not unwilling to talk about any issue with respect to the contracts signed,” referring to the commitment already made up until the 2014/15 season.
For the long-term competitiveness of La Liga there has to be a more equitable division of the TV revenues. Without it, Barca and Real Madrid will continue to dominate Spanish football and La Liga will become like the Scottish Premier League where only two clubs have a realistic chance of winning the title every season.