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EU tells Barcelona, Real to repay state aid

04 July 2016, 15:01

Brussels - The EU on Monday ordered seven Spanish football clubs including Barcelona and Real Madrid to pay back millions of euros (dollars) in illegal state aid.

The European Commission said Spanish government support, including tax breaks and overpriced land transfers, gave the clubs an "unfair advantage" over others.

The other clubs were Valencia, Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish top flight and Atletico Osasuna, Elche and Hercules in the second division.

Also read: Neymar extends Barcelona contract till 2021

"Using taxpayers' money to finance professional football clubs can create unfair competition," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

"Professional football is a commercial activity with significant money involved and public money must comply with fair competition rules.

"The subsidies we investigated in these cases did not."

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