People's Party (PP) plans to push Real Madrid and Barcelona to
find consensus with their La Liga rivals on a more equitable
distribution of income from television rights, according to PP
policymaker Miriam Blasco.
Polls suggest the PP is heading for an election victory over
the ruling Socialists on Sunday and Blasco, an Olympic gold
medallist in judo and PP sports policy spokesperson in the
Senate since 2000, said it was vital the less wealthy
clubs had a fair slice of the TV pie.
"You have to support the small teams as well, because it's
true that the Spanish league would not exist if it was not
working for all the clubs," Blasco, a candidate to become
Spain's top sports official after the election, said in an
"It's also true that Real Madrid and Barcelona sell much
more than any other club so I agree that they should get the
biggest share," added the 47-year-old, who is standing for the
lower house in the city of Alicante.
"But I believe that the other clubs should get what they
deserve because their current revenues are much smaller."
Under the current system, Real and Barca, the world's
richest clubs by revenue, negotiate their own deals with media
firms and between them take half the annual pot of around 600
Barca earned almost 180 million euros from TV contracts in
the 2009/10 season, including non-Spanish deals, with Real
reaping just under 160 million, according to the latest Deloitte
Football Money League published in February.
A study last year by Sport+Markt, a consulting firm, showed
the pair earned almost 19 times more from TV than the smallest
clubs in Spain's top division, by far the biggest gap in the
major European leagues.
The richest clubs in the English Premier League, which has a
system of collective bargaining and income sharing, earned about
1.7 times more than their smaller rivals.
Sevilla have fronted a recent bid to persuade Real and Barca
to reintroduce collective bargaining and share the cash more
equitably, accusing them of "stealing" from their domestic
rivals and creating a situation in which only they are capable
of winning the league.
The problem has been exacerbated by the financial crisis,
which has dented income from advertising and sponsorship and
helped tip many clubs into administration.
"Football is living beyond its means and only two clubs are
viable as things stand," Blasco said.
"There are more and more clubs in administration and if it
collapses then Real Madrid and Barcelona will lose too.
"What we have to do is find a consensus and what we are
aiming to do is start a dialogue with everyone and act as
intermediaries in the talks."
Blasco, who became the first Spanish woman to win an Olympic
gold at the Games in Barcelona in 1992, stressed that the PP was
not planning to legislate to force change on Real and Barca.
The professional football league (LFP), which used to
negotiate TV contracts on behalf of Spanish clubs, is not
functioning correctly and needs a helping hand to sort out the
financial problems afflicting football, she added.
"We cannot control something that is beyond our influence,"
"But what is true is that the LFP needs to rethink the way
"It seems the Spanish football federation (RFEF) is working
well but there are more problems in the LFP and it is there
where we probably need to lend a hand to help it function more
Turning to Spanish sports in general, Blasco said a new PP
government would make a wide-ranging assessment of what changes
needed to be made to the current development model to help it
adapt to the challenges thrown up by the financial crisis.
While Spanish professional athletes such as Rafa Nadal and
the national football and basketball teams are enjoying great
success, some of the lower profile Olympic sports are
increasingly suffering from a lack of funding, she added.
"We have come to realise that the Spanish sports model is 20
years out of date.
"It was a model created for Barcelona 1992 and I was one of
the first products of that policy. But things have changed since
then and the model needs updating," she said.
"Outwardly it seems that Spanish sport is in good shape but
in London next year we will see that all the other Olympic
sports are not up to the same standard.
"What we want is a policy that promotes more patronage
because the crisis has affected non-elite sports a great deal.
"We have to find an effective financing formula because if
you look from Barcelona to London you can see that the number of
medals has fallen consistently.
"It's clear the system is past its sell-by date."
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