TV revenue sharing impasse to continue: Barca CEO

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 22, 2012 13:30 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) There appears to be no end in sight to the impasse over the inequitable distribution of broadcasting rights revenues in the Primera division of the Spanish Liga and the strike threat by 13 clubs demanding a fairer allocation of the money, 50 percent of which at the moment is cornered by the Big Two -- Real Madrid and Barcelona.

After the clubs had threatened to go on a strike before the start of the new season in August, a temporary truce was worked out between them and the league management and an immediate resolution is unlikely.

Barcelona CEO Antoni Rossich, who is here for a promotional event, Monday told IANS that nothing is going to happen in the next couple of years.

Mediapro and Canal+, which have the broadcasting rights of the Primera Liga, allocate over 50 percent of the revue to Barcelona and Real Madrid and that works out to 200 million euros each per season. However, teams like Atletico Madrid and Valencia, who finished third behind the big-two, make only 45 million euros.

"There will be no change at least for the next couple of years. We are in negotiations with other clubs but the present system of allocation will remain till the 2015/16 season," Rossich said.

"Our revenue last year was 495 million euros out of which only 30 percent was from television revenues. Madrid and Barca have other sources of revenue whereas the other Spanish clubs failed to add much to their kitty," he added.

The beginning of the 2012/13 season saw a major tiff between the revotling clubs and Real and Barca over the TV deal.

Besides raising the revenue sharing issue, nine clubs -- Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid, Osasuna, Getafe, Real Sociedad, Athletic, Espanyol, Real Zaragoza and Real Betis -- who have all entered into a deal with Canal+, allege that the Spanish league (LFP) is favouring Mediapro by scheduling matches to suit the timings of the Big Two clubs.

Rossich slammed these clubs and made a special mention of Real Madrid's city rivals Atletico Madrid saying that the club had double standards.

"The league structure today is the same as it was years ago and it was agreed to by the clubs which are protesting for a change now. They thought they were going to get the major benefits in the long run but it has gone the the other way."

"We have an agreement with 32 clubs in the top and the second division. They are all signatories to it, but some of them want a change. We can't rush into anything, it needs to be planned carefully," Rossich added.

"Atletico Madrid had signed the agreement, but they dilly-dally all the time."

Talking about the Financial Fair Play (FFP), a regulation brought in 2011/12 to prevent professional football clubs spending more than they earn, he said: "FFP is very necessary. It is good for the sport and for the smaller clubs."

"But its not going to change our system much.In any case, we don't buy many players, majority of our recruits come from our academy so we don't need to worry much about it."

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