After two losses in less than a week’s time and a total of six loses and three draws in La Liga since the start of 2023 (24 points lost), Real Madrid have let a resurgent Atletico leapfrog them in the league standings. Diego Simeone’s men sit one point higher than Real Madrid with five league games remaining. Atleti arguably have the harder schedule with Villarreal and Real Sociedad still to play on the final two match-days, but given Real Madrid’s lack of concentration in the league there is no guarantee they sweep 3 points in all their remaining matches.
In addition to the mere pride at stake, Real Madrid are leaving millions of euros on the table by finishing in third place. Half of the TV distribution money is split evenly among the 20 clubs, while the other half is broken down into two factors:
- “Social implantation” (I.E. the RM/Barca clause) where allocation is based on a club’s percentage of season tickets, the average box office sales over the last five seasons, and the individual participation of each club in regards to creating resources that can be used for broadcasting.
- The final standings of the league season with each position being worth about 7-8 million euros.
That second factor is the key factor to note in Real Madrid’s failure to retain the league title. Dropping to third place means Real Madrid are potentially losing out on 7 million euros and a total of 14 million euros by not retaining the title.
With a club and president as meticulous from a financial perspective as Real Madrid and Florentino Perez, there will be major frustration if the club fail to secure at least second in the league standings. Another way to frame it, the league position more or less pays for Fran Garcia’s buy-back from Rayo Vallecano. Atletico Madrid players and Diego Simeone recognize the value of finishing second, but do Carlo Ancelotti and his Real Madrid team?