MADRID - The
overwhelming dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid in their
domestic league will inevitably lead them to abandon Spain for
European competition, former Real director general Jorge Valdano
said on Friday.
Valdano, who was ousted in May after losing a power battle
with Real coach Jose Mourinho, said the gap between the wealthy
pair and the rest was likely to get bigger.
"In the future Madrid and Barcelona will have to look to
teams that are going at the same speed, and that will lead to a
European league," he told Cadena Ser radio.
"Before I defended Real Madrid's interests but now I see
things from a different perspective," the former Real and
Argentina player added.
"The gap between the big two and the rest is getting ever
larger. If you look to the future you have the feeling that it
will only get worse.
"Two teams which have the rest of the world as their market
and the others only their local community.
"There will come a time when that won't be convenient for
the two big clubs either."
The difference in class and spending power between Spanish
and European champions Barca and Real - the world's richest
clubs by revenue - and their domestic rivals was underlined by
their emphatic wins in their opening league games of the season.
Barca crushed Villarreal, who are competing in this season's
Champions League, 5-0 at the Nou Camp on Monday, while Real
demolished Real Zaragoza 6-0 away the previous day.
The results prompted the president of Villarreal to accuse
Barca and Real of killing Spanish football, while the Sevilla
president said La Liga was "a load of rubbish".
The dominance of Barca and Real derives in part from their
control of revenue from television rights, which gives them a
far bigger share of the pot than rivals in other major European
Spain has yet to adopt the system of collective bargaining
and income sharing used in other competitions like the English
Javier Faus, a vice president of Barca, told Reuters in
February the club would like to see an expanded Champions League
and floated the idea of reducing the number of clubs in top
domestic divisions to free up time for more continental matches.
However, he said it was unlikely Barca or Real would ever
quit domestic competition entirely.
"We are going through a period of transition, it depends
what happens in Spain and other leagues," Valdano told Cadena
Ser, which has hired him as a commentator.
"The problem is that the Premier League works, Germany
works. There is a lot of passion for football. I don't see them
being very enthusiastic about leaving their national leagues."
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