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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Spanish Liga

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Messi to face tax charges

Lionel Messi and his father, who is his manager, are to face tax fraud charges and Spanish prosecutors are calling for a 22-month jail term.   They deny any wrongdoing and blame a former agent of the player.  Of course, even if they were found gullty, this would not necessarily be the sentence that was handed down.

El Clásico under threat after vote

Nationalist parties have won the regional elections in Catalonia.   They plan to hold an independence referendum within eighteen months.  Spain has said that it would challenge any such referendum in the courts.

Real Madrid no longer world's most valuable sports team

Real Madrid are no longer the world's most valuable sports team according to a new study by Forbes.  At £2.1bn they have been overtaken by the Dallas Cowboys at £2.6bn.

Barcelona are in fifth place at £2bn.   The only other football team in the top ten are Manchester United at £2.01bn.

European leagues hit by Premiership wealth

The wealth of the Premier League is having an increasing effect on other European leagues.  Often highly priced transfers bring a welcome stream of income, but the standard is getting worse.   Even in top leagues such as that of Spain it is becoming more and more difficult in terms of salaries to compete with almost all the Premier League clubs and even some in the Championship.

Networking at Real

Access to the Palco executive box at Real Madrid's Bernebau stadium is higly prized.  As well as watching the football, it is where Spain's political and business elite come to network.

However, Madrid's new left-wing mayor, Manuela Carmena, won't be putting in an appearance.   She hasn't been invited yet anyway, but if she was, she would turn down the invitation.   She doesn't like the traditional closeness between Madrid's businessmen and politicians, something which has worked to Real Madrid's advantage.

Valencia hopeful of brighter future

Singapore billionaire Peter Lim acquired control of Valencia last year.   The club had struggled financially for years with debt increasing faster than income.

His plans remain unclear, but there are hopes of a brighter future.   As the Spanish economy recovers, that should also help.

Spanish clubs face state aid decision

A European Commission investigation into illegal state aids to Spanish football clubs will be concluded by the end of the summer.  Seven clubs are involved, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.

If the allegations are found to be justified, they could face paying back billions of euros.  However, the Spanish government has said it will defend the clubs to the last as they are part of Spain's 'brand'.

Court stops Spanish football strike

A Madrid court issued a last-minute ruling to end a player strike that had threatened to bring the La Liga season to a premature end, as well as preventing the final of the Copa del Ray being played.   According to the interim ruling by Spain's national court, the strike would have caused 'grave organisational disorder'.

There would have been little prospect of playing the cancelled matches at a later date.  Javier Tebas, the president of Spain's professional league, had earlier warned that the stoppage could inflict financial damage of €100m.

Which teams get the big sponsorship money?

There is a lot of detailed and interesting information in this report from Forbes about which clubs get the big sponsorship money and how the picture is changing.

The biggest source of revenue is shirt sponsorship (or jersey sponsorship as this report calls it).   That is followed by stadium naming rights which have become an increasingly lucrative source of revenue.  

Viewers only want to watch bigger teams

A paper published in the International Journal of Economics has claimed that as the money poured into football has grown, the demand from television viewers to watch the bigger teams has increased.   They prefer that to watching matches with uncertain outcomes.