12:05 PM ET
LaLiga’s clubs have voted in favour of a €2.2 billion deal that will see 10% of the league’s business sold to the investment fund CVC Capital Partners, despite opposition from Real Madrid and Barcelona
The €2.7bn deal was announced last week and approved by the league’s executive committee but had to be ratified in a vote of the 42 first- and second-division clubs at a general assembly on Thursday.
A total of 38 clubs voted in favour, with Madrid, Barca, Athletic Bilbao and an unnamed LaLiga 2 club voting against.
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Speaking at a news conference after the meeting, LaLiga president Javier Tebas blamed the opposition of the league’s two biggest clubs to the plans on the row over the proposed European Super League.
“It’s clear that the position of Real Madrid and Barcelona is related to the Super League,” he said. “This influx of money doesn’t favour the idea of a Super League that Florentino [Perez] wants. It’s a cultural problem, he thinks the big clubs are the ones that should control everything.
“I’d like [Real Madrid and Barcelona] to be part of the agreement, they aren’t, but we’re not going to cry about it.”
The investment is likely to total between €2.1bn and €2.2bn without Madrid or Barca voting in favour.
Tebas refused to speculate on whether Barca could have held onto Lionel Messi — who joined Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday after Barca were unable to agree a new deal with the player within the league’s salary cap — if they had accepted the deal.
“I don’t know FC Barcelona’s numbers, or exactly what they’re doing to reduce their wage bill,” he said. “It would have helped Barcelona to have a competitive squad. It could have been Messi, it could have been another player.
“Obviously it hurts that Messi leaves, but we’ve worked hard so that our audiovisual income doesn’t fall. There’s no clause in our international TV rights contracts for if Messi goes… [Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar] are important, they help, but they aren’t essential.”
The ‘Boost LaLiga’ agreement will see CVC Capital Partners hold a 10% stake in LaLiga and its future earnings from the sale of audiovisual rights.
The league says 90% of the money received in return will go to clubs, as well as women’s football, semi-professional football and non-professional football.
A last-minute change saw the clubs which voted against the plans excluded from the deal, which means Real Madrid and Barcelona will not receive their shares of the money and retain their broadcast income.
LaLiga’s two biggest clubs have been vocal critics of the plans.
On Tuesday, Real Madrid said that it would “initiate both civil and criminal legal action” against LaLiga president Javier Tebas and CVC director Javier de Jaume Guijarro over the deal.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta said last week that the plans were akin to “mortgaging the club’s rights over the next half-century.”
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), which is immersed in a long-running feud with LaLiga over various aspects of Spanish football administration, called the agreement “completely illegal” and “appalling” on Wednesday.
However, most LaLiga clubs support the plans, as evidenced by Thursday’s vote.
Villarreal president Fernando Roig told Onda Cero radio on Wednesday that he “didn’t understand Real Madrid and Barcelona’s reasons to oppose the agreement.”
The president of Real Betis, Angel Haro, described the deal as “very positive,” saying that “we’ve been working with LaLiga for a long time in the search for these solutions… it will make us stronger.”
On Thursday, Tebas insisted that LaLiga could still attract the world’s best players.
“[Barcelona] will keep signing big players,” he said. “Real Madrid have done a great job of managing their accounts after the pandemic, with few losses.”
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.