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Real Madrid take legal action against La Liga over CVC investment deal

The private equity firm are set to take a 10 percent stake in La Liga’s commercial rights for the next 50 years.

A view of Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
A view of Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Image: EMPICS Sport

REAL MADRID SAY they are taking legal action against the Spanish league and commercial partner CVC Capital Partners over La Liga’s sale of 10 percent of the Spanish game’s rights to the investment fund.

Real are furious with the deal announced last week by La Liga president Javier Tebas to give CVC a capital stake in the Spanish game over 50 years for €2.7 billion euros.

“Real Madrid’s executive committee today met at 11 am and unanimously decided to take civil and penal legal action against the president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, and against Javier de Jaime Guijarro, head of the CVC investment fund, as well as against CVC Capital Partners SICAV-FIS investment fund itself,” Madrid said in a statement.

The club said it hopes the move will lead to the annulation or neutralisation of accords La Liga might agree at its next general assembly on Thursday as a result of the CVC arrangement.

Madrid said after news of the deal emerged that it had been reached without the club’s involvement or knowledge and complained it was reached “without competitive proceedings,” adding it amounted to a “significant loss of equity.”

The deal requires two-thirds support among Spain’s 42 clubs in the top two divisions.

Barcelona have made similar complaints, adding the 50-year duration is too long and threatens to hit the biggest clubs’ revenues, notably broadcasting rights, even though they stand to gain.

La Liga has acted with the Spanish game labouring under huge debts — the pandemic alone is estimated to have cost the top flight around €2 billion.

Both clubs were reportedly in line to receive at least €250 million to spend on investment and refinancing debts.

Barcelona have their backs to the wall with a debt pile of more than €1.2 billion and a strict La Liga salary cap meant they could not afford to keep Lionel Messi, even on much-reduced wages.

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But the Catalan outfit rejected the CVC deal saying that “the terms of the contract which La Liga is describing condemn FC Barcelona’s future in terms of broadcasting rights.”

Real and Barca have long complained about the revamping of broadcasting rights in Spain. Until 2016 they were able to negotiate broadcast rights on their own behalf, before a new collective system came in under royal decree.

Real says the CVC deal is an “opportunist” undertaking and noted that CVC had tried but failed to land similar accords with the Italian and German leagues.

 © – AFP, 2021

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