x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pay cut for Primera Liga’s big two can help others grow

If the big two in Primera Liga take a cut in television income it will help others competitively and that will be only good for the health of the league.

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo remain the top draw in Primer Liga. Andres Kudacki / AP Photo
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo remain the top draw in Primer Liga. Andres Kudacki / AP Photo

The disparity in television income is the root of the financial imbalance in Spanish football. Barcelona and Real Madrid take 25 per cent of the total each.

Huge clubs such as Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla and Valencia receive seven per cent — which equates to less money than the lowest ranked teams in England’s Premier League. For the record, no English team receives more than a 6.25 per cent share.

Valencia president Amadeo Salvo this week said: “When I see the figures I think we should copy the Premier League model.”

That is not going to happen. The big two will not budge that much.

“We’re working towards the next television deal, which starts in 2015/16, to divide the share of the TV rights,” added Salvo. “If Barcelona and Real Madrid lose €80 million (Dh397.2m) each (less than half their television money) and give it to the rest of the clubs to share, they will still be the richest clubs in the world. It won’t mean that they fall behind Manchester United. Maybe it won’t be 25 per cent, but 19 per cent.”

That is the opinion of a man who wants that to happen, but will giving money away be in the interests of Barcelona and Madrid? Yes, it will.

More money for the rest allows them to stand a better chance of retaining rather than losing their talents abroad.

That makes the Primera Liga a better, more competitive, league, one which can sell its overseas rights for higher amounts. That benefits all, including Barcelona and Madrid.

sports@thenational.ae