Speaking after the announcement of the Premier League’s massive new broadcast deal, Espanyol president Joan Collet has hit out at the uneven split of television money in Spanish football.
The current arrangement in Spain sees each club negotiate their own deal with a broadcasting partner. Real Madrid and Barcelona made approximately 140 million euros each last season, while smaller clubs earned considerably less money.
Spanish champions Atletico Madrid earned 42 million euros, Espanyol made 28 million, and five clubs earned just 18 million euros apiece.
“Any team in the Premier League can sign your best player by doubling their salary,” president Joan Collet argued. “That’s what’s happening to us and it will keep happening if this situation isn’t sorted out.”
“We’re willing to bring La Liga to a halt through the LFP (the Spanish football league) if a decree isn’t issued about the regularization of TV rights. If they don’t get their act together, we’re willing to do it.”
New legislation was proposed more than two years ago but has yet to be signed into law. The intention is to divide up the 800 million euros of television rights among the entirety of Spanish football.
Ten percent of the 800 million would go to La Liga Adelante. The remaining 90% would be shared accordingly: 50% would be distributed directly, 25% for sporting results and the final 25% social implementation or resource generation; with no club being entitled to more than one-fifth of the percentage.
In this new proposition, if Real Madrid earned 140 million euros, the lowest La Liga club would make a minimum of 40 million euros.
“A lot of clubs have already signed deals for 2015-16,” the Espanyol president went on to say. “But if a decree is issued then the contract can be cancelled from the following season. The decree could be in place by then, but we can’t negotiate at present. Out hands and feet are tied and we remain in the shameful situation that the top two clubs earn the most [from television] in all of Europe.”
Last Friday, forty of the forty-one Spanish clubs (Athletic Bilbao were the only exception) voted to urge the country’s secretary of state, Miguel Cardenal, to implement the two-year old legislation as soon as possible, so that negotiations for next season could begin.
Programming note: The first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final between Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol will be shown LIVE today starting at 3:55pm EST on beIN SPORTS en español and DishWorld.
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