Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Spain TV rights war ramps up, games at risk

07 May 2015, 18:07

Madrid - Spain's football federation went to war Thursday over television rights, threatening to cancel the season's crucial last matches as the government accused it of getting too big for its boots.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) vowed late on Wednesday to "suspend competitions of all categories starting from May 16 indefinitely".

Also read: Bale can silence critics against Valencia

It complained that a recent reform of the allocation of TV broadcast rights of matches would distribute revenue unfairly.

The federation said in a statement it was fighting to protect the revenues of small football clubs, but sports authorities and the sporting media poured scorn on the RFEF and its head Angel Villar.

"They are completely unaware of their place in the Spanish nation," said Miguel Cardenal, head of the government's Higher Sports Council.

"Mr. Villar thinks that his country's government has to ask his blessing and authorisation in order to do something."

Leading Madrid sports daily Marca accused Villar of waging a personal fight against the government to try and show that "football begins and ends with him".

Liga matches threatened

The CSD accused the federation of seeking to avoid paying back certain subsidies that it said the RFEF had made "unjustified" use of. The federation denied any such irregularities.

The state body accused the federation of serving "interests beyond those of the real benefit of football".

The stoppage, if it goes ahead, will affect the key May 17 title clash between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, as well as the concluding weekend of the league.

The Spanish Cup final, set for May 30 between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, would also be scrapped.

The new TV deal signed into law on April 30 by the Spanish government was seen as a means of helping loosen the financial stranglehold of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the two giants of the Spanish game.

The deal, yet to be ratified by parliament, would end the tradition of clubs being allowed to negotiate their own TV deals.

Instead, the rights would be auctioned just as they are in England's lucrative Premier League.

Premier league-style revenues

The RFEF said it was unhappy over the sharing-out of the money as well as the reduction of revenue from betting streams.

"They think they are losing economic control on all fronts," said Barcelona football daily Sport on Thursday.

The federation denounced "the continued interference" of government bodies in football.

Sports minister Jose Ignacio Wert said the new deal meant a fairer distribution of finances around the league including clubs who struggle in the shadows of Real and Barcelona, two of the richest clubs in the world.

Wert said that the Premier League in England generated 1.8 billion euros in 2013-2014 from TV deals compared to 800 million in Spain.

La Liga chiefs were hoping to claim a billion euros in the new system.

Earlier this week, the AFE Spanish players union threatened a strike in protest at being excluded from the negotiations.

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi had even added his voice to supporting industrial action.

"The AFE have met with us. The players are with them in what they say," said Messi.

The Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) said it was the one with the power to schedule matches and the RFEF's threat of cancellations was "null and void".

Even as it threatened its stoppage, the federation insisted it "is open to dialogue with the Spanish government".



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...