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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Spanish Liga


Levante's remarkable success story

Until last weekend La Liga led Spain's Primera División.   That was a remarkable story in itself, although no doubt the Barcelona/Real duopoly will re-establish itself by the end of the season.   The negotiation of individual broadcasting contracts in Spain means that the top two enjoy a 10:1 ratio of television income over many clubs in the division.   The case of Spain is discussed by Borja Garcia and his colleagues in our forthcoming Manchester University Press book

La Liga sets up commission to monitor club finances

Top flight Spanish football clubs are plagued with debt problems.  Barcelona and Real Madrid account for €1.2bn of the €3.5bn debt, although they also ttake in half of the €600m annual television revenue.   After the top two, Valencia and Atletico Madrid are the the clubs with the most debt.

Television shake up in Spain?

In Spain football teams negotiate individually with broadcasters for the right to show matches.  If that was the case in England, Manchester United and Chelsea could strike their own deals and smaller top flight clubs would lose out.

Last week in Spain the satellite broadcaster Digital Plus concluded a series of football rights deals.   Digital Plus is part owned by Telecinco (T5) which is the leading television group in Spain and is controlled by Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset.

Foreign owners make continental moves

Until recently potential buyers of football club looked at the Premier League in England or possibly at the Championship if they thought a promising bargain was available.   Even Charlton went through a due diligence process with buyers from the Gulf.

Business, football and Real Madrid

Business and football are intimately linked.   In fact, they always have been.   However, today the stakes are higher and the opportunities more rewarding, not necessarily for profit but for networking that can facilitate business transactions.

Real go for the English model

On one level the sacking of Jorge Valdano as director-general at Real Madrid is the outcome of a power struggle with Jose Mourinho.   There were personal tensions between the two men, the special one wanted more autonomy and he has come out on top.

But it is interesting that when he announced the move club president Florentino Perez explicitly said that he wanted to move the club towards an English model. 

Blackburn fans may have had a lucky escape

Blackburn Rovers fans may have had a lucky escape when Ashan Ali Syed failed to pursue a bid for the club last year.   His interest faded quickly when he became aware of the scrutiny of financial disclosure rules.

Barca top pay league

FC Barcelona are the highest paying sports club in the world according to a survey conducted by the website   Their first team players earned an average of £95,081 a week with rivals Real Madrid in second place.   The New York Yankees came third.

UK fans spend most on merchandise

Fans in the UK spend the most on official football fan merchandise (€58) of the ten countries investigated in the latest Sport + Markt report on football merchandising.    Yet of the top ten clubs in Europe ranked on merchandising revenue only two Premier League clubs made the the top ten with Liverpool in third and Manchester United sixth.   Lyons and Fenerbahce outrank Arsenal and Juventus.

Spanish one-two in money league

It's a Spanish one-two in the Deloitte Sports Business Football Money League for 2011.  Real Madrid head the Money League for the sixth siccessive year.    FC Bareclona came second.   Whilst Real held a €40m revenue advantage over Barca in 2009/10, Barca's revenues should exceed €400m in the next edition of the Money League, particularly given the club's new shirt sponsorship deal with Qatar.