Barcelona joined rivals Real Madrid on Thursday in denouncing a proposed multi-billion-dollar investment and revenue-sharing deal between La Liga and private equity firm CVC.
The statement came in the aftermath of Barca announcing all-time top scorer Lionel Messi would leave the club after 18 years due to financial constraints put on them by La Liga.
The Spanish football league on Wednesday announced that CVC would inject 2.7 billion euros (£2.3 billion) into La Liga in exchange for 10 per cent of its revenue and a 10 per cent stake in most of its business, with 90 per cent of the injection going to clubs.
“FC Barcelona considers that the operation that has been announced has not been sufficiently discussed with the clubs (the owners of the TV rights); that the amount is not congruent with the years of duration, and the deal affects part of all clubs’ audiovisual rights for the next 50 years,” a club statement read.
“The terms of the contract that La Liga is describing condemn Barcelonas future with regard to broadcasting rights.
“FC Barcelona wishes to express its surprise at an agreement driven by La Liga in which the teams’ opinions, including those of FC Barcelona, have not been taken into account.
“There has not even been a presentation of options offered by other competitors in order to evaluate the pros and cons in a post-pandemic situation in which there are still many questions that are left unanswered.”
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Earlier on Thursday, a Real Madrid statement read: “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.
“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% of the clubs’ audiovisual rights for the next 50 years, in breach of the law.
“The negotiation was carried out without competitive proceedings and the financial conditions agreed with CVC Capital Partners give them annual returns of over 20%. This opportunistic fund is the same which tried and failed to reach similar agreements with the Italian and German leagues.
“Real Madrid cannot support a venture which hands the future of 42 Primera and Segunda División clubs over to a group of investors, not to mention the futures of those clubs who qualify over the next 50 years.
“Real Madrid will convene the Assembly of Representative Members to debate the agreement and discuss the significant loss of equity, unprecedented in our 119-year history.”
Barca and Real, along with Serie A club Juventus, remain wedded to the ill-fated European Super League idea that was announced earlier this year, but collapsed after fan backlash as nine of the 12 founder clubs pulled out.
The Spanish football league’s executive committee, which includes the bosses of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla but not those of Real or Barca, approved the planned CVC deal on Wednesday and it will now be put to a vote by all league members from the top two divisions.
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