Madrid to sue LaLiga, CVC over €2.7bn deal

Real Madrid have announced they will take legal action against LaLiga president Javier Tebas, CVC Capital Partners and its director Javier de Jaime Guijarro after the Spanish league agreed to sell 10% of its business to the investment fund for €2.7 billion.

The league’s executive committee unanimously approved the sale last week but it must be ratified in Thursday’s general assembly.

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LaLiga needs two thirds of the 42 voting clubs in the top two tiers of Spanish football to be in favour.

Madrid will oppose the sale and have warned it will take every action possible to prevent the deal from going through.

A club statement on Tuesday read: “Real Madrid C.F. Board of Directors unanimously agreed to initiate both civil and criminal legal action against the LaLiga President, Mr Javier Tebas Medrano, Mr Javier de Jaime Guijarro, head of the CVC Fund, and against the CVC Capital Partners SICAV-FIS Fund itself.

“In addition, the Board of Directors has resolved to take any legal action it considers appropriate to annul and render ineffective any possible resolutions adopted by the LaLiga Assembly, due to be held on Aug. 12 2021, in relation to the agreement between LaLiga and the CVC Fund.”

Tebas has pushed for LaLiga to compete with the Premier League on an economic level. He said in October that while La Liga had grown financially under his seven-year stewardship, the Premier League is still No. 1 and there was work to be done on foreign markets such as China.

Tebas responded to Madrid’s statement on social media and tweeted: “The threatening method that FP (Madrid president Florentino Perez) has been using in private for years is now being transferred to the public. Clubs and institutions have been putting up with their threats for years.

“Since 2015 against the centralised sale, the constant challenges of agreements, the Super League … Real Madrid deserves better.”

The coronavirus pandemic has created a sense of urgency to bring more money into LaLiga. 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.

Last week, ESPN reported that Madrid feel the sale “endangers” their business opportunities by allowing CVC to take money, for example, television rights without the club agreeing to the deal.

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 the club register their summer signings with the league.

However, Barca confirmed they could not complete Messi’s new contract due to financial constraints last week and released a statement saying the deal was “inappropriate.”

Messi has ended his 21-year stay at the club and is set to join Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract.