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Investment disputed

La Liga challenged over €2.7bn ‘opportunist’ deal

Real Madrid are not guaranteed to accept the deal (pic: Terry Murden)

While Scottish football is embroiled in a dispute over an £8 million title sponsorship, Spain’s La Liga clubs are facing a challenge to a €2.7 billion (£2.3bn) investment in the domestic game.

If the deal goes through it would see a private equity company involved in the running of a large European football league for the first time.

But Real Madrid, one of Spain’s biggest clubs, is opposed to the offer that promises to transform Spanish football.

La Liga, which manages the top two divisions of Spanish football, argues that it will create a new business that will take control of most of its activities, in which CVC Capital Partners will hold a 10% stake. The deal will value La Liga at €24.3bn, it said.

About 90% of the funds from CVS will be available to the clubs and may be seen as compensation by those who were thwarted in their attempts to create a breakaway European Super League.

All 42 in the top two divisions are due to vote on the deal, but Real Madrid has expressed its opposition and tonight (Thursday) it issued a statement claiming that the agreement was closed without the participation or knowledge of the club.

It labelled CVC as an “opportunist fund” that unsuccessfully tried similar deals with both Serie A in Italy and the Bundesliga in Germany.

It alleges that the proposed agreement would take 10.95% of the audiovisual rights negotiated by the clubs over the next 50 years. Real Madrid said it would be convening an assembly to discuss the agreement that it described as unprecedented and disruptive.

CVC is already an investor in sport, including a deal that it reached in March to invest £365m in rugby’s annual Six Nations tournament between the top European nations. It has also been involved in volleyball, tennis, Moto GP and Formula One.

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In a statement, it said La Liga will be a “long-term deal which aligns the interests of La Liga, the clubs, and CVC”, focused on growing the league’s digital presence, investing in its brand, and reaching more audiences around the world.

The proposed deal, if successful, would put many others in the shade and may sharpen Rangers’ accusations that Scottish football is being shortchanged.

The SPFL has agreed a £1.6m a year title sponsorship over five years which the Ibrox club has rejected on grounds that it conflicts with its existing commercial agreements. The club has also accused the SPFL of undervaluing the product.



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