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Real Madrid Stadium Expansion Halted By Court Order

A court in the Spanish capital has suspended plans for Real Madrid's stadium expansion, as the club is under investigation by the European Commission.

Mike Hewitt

Today, a court in the Spanish Capital halted all plans to renovate the Santiago Bernabeu, a project with a projected cost of 400 million Euros, by suspending any agreements between the city and the club. The reason is because the club is under investigation by the European Commission for illegal state aid.

The club's plans involved expansion into adjacent land; the addition of a shopping centre and a hotel to the stadium to increase match day revenue; and a significant remodelling of the outside of the stadium, including the addition of a roof. The work is the design of German architects GMP.

In December it was revealed that seven Spanish clubs were being investigated for receiving favourable tax treatment by the state. Most of these clubs, owned by socios, are being investigated under anti-trust regulations.

The commission Vice President (the Spaniard  Joaquín Almunia) said that

Professional football clubs should finance their running costs and investments with sound financial management rather than at the expense of the taxpayer. Member States and public authorities must comply with EU rules on state aid in this sector as in all economic sectors.

This is not related to the probe into the transfer of land that took place between the City of Madrid and Real Madrid prior to the construction of Valdebebas, which is a separate investigation.

Madrid have 10 days to appeal.

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