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Spanish Liga

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Big spenders out in transfer window

As the last day of the transfer window on Monday approaches, uncertainty still clouds a possible £86m transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. This is not just significant for fans of the two clubs involved, it could trigger other big money deals. Real could try to partially cover its investment in Bale by selling off some of its top players. If the deal does go ahead, it will be the fifth successive occasion that Real has broken the world transfer record.

La Liga puts its house in order

It is often argued that La Liga is stronger than the Premier League, although advocates of new ownership models are unstinting in their praise of the Bundesliga. However, Spain's economic crisis has had a profound effect on the nation's football.

30 players have left La Liga this summer, believed to be a record number. Against this, there are real signs of progress in getting football's finances in order and reducing the legacy of debt. In the past this was often treated as a fact of life with regional or local governments providing hidden subsidies.

The quest for a marquee signing

The current transfer window in Europe has been dominated by a quest for marquee signings. However, there are not that many really outstanding players available. When demand is strong but supply is limited and finite, strange things happen to price. Hence Real Madrid's willingness to pay over £100m for Gareth Bale, far more than he is worth.

Real Madrid and financial fair play

Given that they are €590m in debt how are Real Madrid able to offer record breaking transfer fees for Gareth Bale and get round Uefa financial fair play rules?   The answer, as we have argued for some time, is that the rules are really designed to enable existing top clubs to pull up the ladder behind them.

Real Madrid overtakes Manchester United in money stakes

According to Forbes, Real Madrid is now the world’s most valuable sports franchise, worth $3.3 billion, surpassing former No. 1 Manchester United. Los Blancos have the highest revenues of any team in sports ($650 million during the 2011-12 season), and revenues are up 62% over the last three years. Madrid’s operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and player trading) of $134 million is second only to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys among sports teams.

Spain to move to collective sale of tv rights

Spain's government plans to push for a new law that will give the Spanish football league control over the collective sale of television rights in a move to improve club finances, collect outstanding taxes, and increase competitiveness.

Miguel Cardenal, president of Spain's Sports Council, said on Thursday that he wants to present the new law by the end of this year to give the league more power over the individual clubs.

Real Madrid overtakes Manchester United in rich list

Business magazine Forbes has been compiling its football rich list since 2004 and for the first time Real Madrid have knocked Manchester United off their perch at the top of the list. It is not that United have stopped growing, simply that Real have grown even faster.

Forbes value the Spanish giant at $3.3bn with Manchester United just behind on $3.17bn. Barcelona are in third place. It is evident that the two leading Spanish clubs are impervious to the troubles of the country's economy.

Real Madrid faces state aid probe

Real Madrid is one of a number of European football clubs facing a preliminary investigation by the European Commission into allegations of illegal state aid.   The underlying issue here is that many clubs in continental Europe receive favourable treatment from local authorities in terms of the construction of stadiums and other facilities.

Successful but bankrupt: the story of La Liga

Spanish football is undoubtedly successful.   Six of the seven La Liga clubs in European competition advanced to the knockout phase, including all four Champions League representatives.   It is not only about Barcelona and Real.   La Liga clubs have won five of the nine past Europa League titles.

Real Madrid break through €500m revenue threshold

Real Madrid has become the first club in any sport to surpass the €500m revenue threshold in a single year, according to the 16th edition of the Football Money League from Deloitte, the business advisory firm. The Spanish club achieved a €33.1m (7%) increase in revenue to €512.6m, and in doing so has claimed the top position in the Money League for a record equalling eighth year, matching Manchester United’s reign from 1996/97 to 2003/04.