Chief Warns Of Slump In La Liga Revenues
The president of Spain’s La Liga, Javier Tebas, has warned that the league faces the prospect of losing up to 25 percent of its income if Catalan sides have to withdraw. He also warned the political crisis in Spain is having an immediate effect with the sale of television rights to three key markets put on hold while the issue of independence for Catalonia is resolved.
Speaking at the World Football Summit in Madrid, Tebas said it would not be possible for Barcelona to choose which league they play in if the province secedes from Spain and that the remaining clubs would have to take a steep drop in income if Barca leave.
“I cannot fool people. I cannot fool the television operators of Turkey, Singapore or India, with whom we have had to suspend the contests for 15 days,” Tebas said.
“Professional leagues are born by the Law of Sport. They are associations under public law. The State has given us powers. The State has delegated professional sport to the Leagues. You cannot change anything overnight. It is the legal system and it must be respected.
“If there is independence in Catalonia and the Catalan federation leaves the Spanish federation, Catalan clubs will not be able to play in the Spanish League. The League would lose between 20 percent and 25 percent of its turnover if the Catalan clubs leave the championship.
“We would have to renegotiate all television contracts and make the league 18 clubs. But I hope this does not happen. I cannot imagine a League without Madrid playing Barça!”
Tebas’s right-hand man Javier Gomez pointed out that even without Real Madrid and Barcelona, the other 18 La Liga clubs have shown considerable economic growth in recent years largely due to the league’s overseas popularity.
“If we separate Madrid and Barcelona from the rest to avoid distortions….. in the 2011-12 season those other 18 Primera clubs lost €225million with a turnover of 835million. Those same clubs, last season made €200million on turnover of 1,600million.”
He added: “I do not know how difficult or how easy it can be to break with Spain. I think it would be very difficult, but La Liga is something that unites all the clubs and it is something that all clubs love historically.
“It is an element of all Spanish players. Thus it can be true that La Liga is more difficult to break than a state. Because clubs, people, like to say they belong to La Liga. That feeling of belonging is growing and will make us stronger.”