Madrid suing league president over deal with investment fund

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid will take legal action against the president of the Spanish league over a multi billion-dollar deal with an investment fund, the club said on Tuesday.

Madrid said its board of directors unanimously agreed “to initiate both civil and criminal legal action” against Javier Tebas and the head of investment fund CVC Capital Partners, Javier de Jaime Guijarro. It also said it will take legal action against the fund itself.

The club said it will “take any legal action it considers appropriate to annul and render ineffective any possible resolutions adopted” by the league’s general assembly, which will convene on Thursday to vote on the deal’s approval.

The majority of the 42 teams in the first and second divisions of Spanish soccer must approve the agreement, which would bring in 2.7 billion euros ($3.2 billion) to boost the clubs’ finances and help the league grow and move closer to cutting into the Premier League’s global dominance.

The league expects most of the clubs to approve the agreement, but Madrid and Barcelona have publicly shown their opposition, saying that although it would inject an important cash influx over the next three years, it would ultimately hurt the team’s broadcast rights in the long term.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta also recently said the club could take legal action against the deal if it was approved at the league’s general assembly.

He said he couldn’t sign the club into a 50-year deal that ultimately could be harmful.

The league’s executive board has already unanimously approved the agreement.

The Spanish league on Tuesday reiterated in a statement that both it and CVC have the necessary legal backing for the agreement. It accused Real Madrid of threatening other clubs with “coercive methods.”

“The threatening methods used for years privately by FP (Madrid president Florentino Pérez) have now become public,” Tebas said on Twitter.

Madrid has often been at odds with the Spanish league since Tebas established the collective sales of broadcast rights in 2015, making Madrid and Barcelona share a larger part of their income.

The league said Madrid has taken several legal actions against the league since then, with the majority of them going against the club.

Madrid earlier said that CVC “tried and failed” to reach similar agreements with the Italian and German leagues.

As part of the agreement, the private equity firm which used to own Formula One would have a share of about 10% of the league’s revenues and a stake of 10% in a new commercial entity that values the league at 24.2 billion euros ($28.4 billion).

The clubs would receive 90% of the money paid by CVC, with 70% aimed at long-term investments. Some of the money would also go toward paying off debts and increasing their spending limits on players and coaches.

Tebas had hinted the deal would have helped Barcelona keep Lionel Messi at the club.


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