Sevilla's President José María Del Nido led a meeting today with representatives of twelve Spanish soccer teams--Málaga, Racing de Santander, Valencia, Villarreal, Real Zaragoza, Osasuna, Athletic Bilbao, Atlético Madrid, Real Betis, Espanyol and Granada--to discuss their displeasure with la Liga's distribution of TV revenue. While most of the details of the meetings have not been made public, it has been reported that the clubs will levy for a joint sale of the TV rights for all clubs.
This proposal will end the current structure that allows individual clubs to sell their own TV packages at their own rates, which has allowed FC Barcelona and Real Madrid to collect huge bounties from the sale of their media rights, while teams like recently-promoted Granada have barely received anything.
Sevilla's Del Nido was firm in his resolution to press onward, and said in a press conference after the meeting that, "there's no going back now."
"We can't turn this movement around now, not even to gain momentum," he said. "It's irreversible, and at the end, we'll reach the conclusion that either we can keep going down this road to end the lack of competitiveness, or we won't be able to fix soccer." Source: Marca.com
More on this after the jump.The group of twelve (I hesitate to use the moniker G-12) also wants to include the entirety of the Segunda (Spanish Second Division) in the compromise, partly to make it less financially disastrous to drop down a level. They also announced that they will push for a "joint and centralized" sale of the media rights, for both Primera and Segunda.
"Continuing these meetings is an irrevocable objective, and we will invite the rest of the clubs in Primera as well as the clubs in Segunda to subsequent gatherings," Del Nido said. "We wish to publicly manifest that it is the irrevocable will of the 12 clubs that are present, not just to maintain the economic objectives of Segunda, but rather to assert that [Segunda's] subsistence is essential for the existence of professional soccer."
Part of the problem for Spanish soccer--that has been glossed over in most articles about the subject--is that clubs in the second division are failing. Not only are many of the major clubs in the Liga BBVA (first division) in administration, almost all of the clubs in Segunda are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.
Of course, simply fixing the media revenue distribution won't completely solve all of these team's problems--much, much more has to happen, particularly in the economy in general--but it would certainly give them some much-needed breathing room.
We'll keep you updated as this situation progresses.