Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao challenge LaLiga and CVC agreement

By Sports Desk September 17, 2021

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have announced they will continue to challenge LaLiga's agreement with CVC Capital Partners. 

LaLiga last month struck a €2.7billion (£2.3bn) deal with CVC that will see the private equity firm acquire 10 per cent of the commercial business. The other 90 per cent of the investment was earmarked to boost cash-strapped clubs in the top two tiers of Spanish football as they deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Madrid and Barca allege the agreement impacts all clubs' audiovisual rights for the next 50 years, with Los Blancos announcing legal action, including against LaLiga president Javier Tebas, last month. 

The deal was overwhelmingly passed by the LaLiga assembly on August 12, yet Barca, Madrid and Athletic still refuse to accept it, while the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) labelled the agreement as "totally illegal". 

In a statement released on Friday, the trio of top-flight clubs made clear their intentions to contest the resolution, following what they describe as a "highly irregular and disrespectful process". 

The statement read: "Barcelona, Athletic Club and Real Madrid announce that they have challenged the agreement adopted by the LaLiga assembly on August 12, 2021, relating to the operation between LaLiga and CVC, as it being an agreement that infringes the applicable rules set out (and in particular, amongst others, the Royal Decree Law 5/2015), and it was adopted as part of an highly irregular and disrespectful process toward with the minimum guarantees required to those purposes, especially faced with an operation of such importance and longevity." 

LaLiga boss Tebas claimed that Barca would have been able to keep Lionel Messi had they agreed to sign up. Due to the club's serious financial issues, the Argentina superstar was unable to sign a new contract and instead joined Paris Saint-Germain. 

Tebas also insisted CVC are investing to develop the league, rather than salvage the finances of Spanish clubs. 

"CVC were interested because of how we have developed, without help from Madrid or Barca. CVC have not come here to bail us out - they are not here because of the pandemic," he said. 

"Only 15 per cent of the money can be used to pay off debts, 70 per cent is for investment in infrastructure. So they are not here to bail out Spanish football, but to help build a stronger league."

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    The gulf in quality between Chelsea and Juventus in midweek will have been a chastening experience for Allegri, but if the Bianconeri are not careful, they might well be hard pushed to qualify for the Champions League next season, barring of course a remarkable run to glory in Europe this term – that seems unlikely, however.

    They sit eighth in Italy, 11 points adrift of league leaders Napoli and second-placed Milan, who both play on Sunday. Atalanta, with this triumph – their first Serie A away win at Juve in 25 attempts – are seven points above Allegri's men, in fourth.

    Zapata back to haunt Juve once more

    Since the start of 2017, Zapata has scored eight goals in 11 appearances against Juve across all competitions, more than any other player in the same timeframe.

    Anywhere but home for Juve

    Juve have now lost three of their first seven home games in Serie A this season. It equals their worst such total so early in a top-flight campaign, matching poor runs from 1956-57 and 1948-49.

    What's next?

    Juve have an ideal chance to recover when they travel to lowly Salernitana on Tuesday, while Atalanta host Venezia on the same evening.

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