Real Madrid and Barcelona unite to condemn private equity deal

Real Madrid say that this ‘opportunistic fund is the same which tried and failed to reach similar agreements with the Italian and German leagues’. — Reuters pic
Real Madrid say that this ‘opportunistic fund is the same which tried and failed to reach similar agreements with the Italian and German leagues’. — Reuters pic

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MADRID, Aug 6 ― Real Madrid and Barcelona united yesterday to criticise La Liga's agreement to sell 10 per cent of its business to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for €2.7 billion (RM13.5 billion).

The deal, the first of its type by a major European league, values La Liga at €24.2 billion.

La Liga will, however, retain the management of TV rights.

“This agreement was reached without the involvement or knowledge of Real Madrid and today, for the first time, La Liga has given us limited access to the terms of the agreement,” said Real in a statement.

“The clubs have signed over their audiovisual rights exclusively for their sale on a competitive basis for a period of three years.

“This agreement, by way of a misleading structure, expropriates 10.95 per cent of the clubs' audiovisual rights for the next 50 years, in breach of the law.”

The club added: “This opportunistic fund is the same which tried and failed to reach similar agreements with the Italian and German leagues.”

The agreement with CVC was seen as a welcome boost to clubs whose finances have taken a hit due to the pandemic and with games played in empty stadiums.

Barcelona, still reeling from the news that Lionel Messi will quit the club after 20 years, said the plan “has not been sufficiently discussed with the clubs (the owners of the TV rights).

“The deal affects part of all clubs' audiovisual rights for the next 50 years,” they said in a statement.

“FC Barcelona feels it is inappropriate to sign a half-century agreement given the uncertainties that always surround the football world.”

A May report by European football governing body UEFA predicted the continent's top-flight clubs are expected to suffer losses of more than eight billion euros due to the impact of the pandemic due to lower gate receipts, broadcast revenues and fewer sponsorship deals.

According to sports daily Marca, heavily indebted Barcelona could get €270 million as a result of the agreement with CVC while Real Madrid would collect €261 million. ― AFP

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