Real, Barca and Bilbao sue La Liga over nearly 2 billion euro CVC deal

Real, Barca and Bilbao sue La Liga over nearly 2 billion euro CVC deal
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Real Madrid is one of three clubs taking legal action against the La Liga football league, announced on Dec 15, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao are taking legal action against La Liga over a 1.994 billion euro (S$3.08b) private equity deal that Spanish football administrators agreed last week, the clubs said on Wednesday (Dec 15).

All but five of the 42 clubs in the top two divisions signed up to the 1.994b euro investment from CVC Capital Partners, the first of its kind in Europe.

Four clubs, including the top-flight trio, opted out and one abstained.

The deal was “an illegal transaction that causes irreparable damage to the entire Spanish football sector and flagrantly violates the most elementary principles of Spanish sports law and the La Liga statutes,” Real, Barcelona and Bilbao said in a statement announcing legal action which was published on their websites.

The agreement, dubbed “La Liga Boost”, buys CVC an 8.2 per cent stake in a new company that will get broadcasting revenues and sponsorship rights for 50 years.

It commits clubs to allocating 70 per cent of funds for investments to new infrastructure and modernisation projects. Up to 15 per cent can be used to sign players, with the remaining 15 per cent for reducing debt.

La Liga said it confirmed the legality of the deal.

“This decision by Real Madrid CF was a foreseeable reaction, given the Club’s history of head-on opposition and appeal against any strategic initiative that represents an advance and a boost for the competition and its clubs,” it said in a statement.

The CVC deal looked at risk of unravelling last week when Barca, Real and Bilbao proposed an alternative proposal for J.P. Morgan, Bank of America and HSBC to jointly lend 2b euros in exchange for a fixed annual payment of 115 million euros over 25 years, a document seen by Reuters showed.

Barcelona and Real were also among the driving forces behind a failed plan to launch a breakaway European Super League earlier this year, and vowed to continue to try to set it up.

-Reuters

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