Sources: Madrid mull legal action against LaLiga

Real Madrid are considering taking legal action against LaLiga and CVC Capital Partners after the Spanish league agreed to sell 10% of its business to the investment fund for €2.7 billion, sources have told ESPN.

Barcelona are pouring over the finer details of the deal with CVC, which LaLiga announced on Wednesday, sources have told ESPN, because they have doubts about voting it through at the general assembly on Aug. 12.

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The league’s executive committee have already unanimously approved the sale, but it must be ratified at the general assembly next week.

League sources said that despite the concerns some clubs have about the deal, they believe it will be voted through because only two-thirds of the 42 voting clubs in the top two tiers of Spanish football must be in favour.

Spanish news outlet El Independiente first reported on Thursday that Madrid were weighing up taking action for asset misappropriation. The report said that Madrid feel the sale “endangers” their business opportunities by allowing CVC to take make money from, for example, television rights without the club agreeing to the deal.

For their initial investment, CVC will pocket 11% of the money raised by LaLiga through the sale of television rights and sponsorship for the next 40 years.

El Independiente also added that Barca and a third club, Athletic Bilbao, were in opposition to the sale.

Sources at Madrid have told ESPN there’s been no definitive decision yet but confirmed they are looking at what legal action is available to them.

They feel they have managed their finances well in the wake of the pandemic and that a quick cash fix now goes against their interests while benefitting other clubs. They also want a more exhaustive explanation to the clubs about the agreement and what it means long-term beyond the short-term injection of funds.

The money raised from the sale will be distributed among the clubs in the form of a loan, repayable over a significant number of years. The payments will be based on the contributions the clubs have had since the centralisation of audiovisual rights in 2015, with Madrid allocated around €261 million and Barca €270m.

The clubs must spend at least 70% of the money on investments related to long-term growth, 15% on refinancing their debt and 15% can be used to increase their league-imposed spending limits.

Barca would appear to be one of the clubs to gain the most from the agreement as they have been badly hit by the pandemic financially. The investment would increase their league-imposed spending limit and could help to register Lionel Messi‘s new contract with the league.

However, sources at Barcelona say they are not so certain the deal will be “beneficial” for the club.

League sources say they don’t understand Barca’s doubts because, according to them, they have held various meetings with the Catalan club this summer and president Joan Laporta had been well briefed on LaLiga’s intentions by the league’s president, Javier Tebas.

Meanwhile, Athletic’s opposition is down to the club’s philosophy of not signing players from outside the Basque Country and Navarra. Therefore, they would not see the benefits that other clubs may reap because they’re working in a much more limited market.