La Liga president Javier Tebas claims that had Barcelona accepted the CVC agreement proposed by the Spanish League, Lionel Messi could still play for the Catalan football club. Tebas says LaLiga is hurt to lose Messi but he blames Barcelona for refusing to accept a contentious financial arrangement.
LaLiga has agreed to a €2.7 billion (£2.3 billion) deal with CVC Capital Partners in which the private equity firm will acquire 10% of the commercial business. The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) stated on Wednesday that it is “completely illegal” and both Real Madrid and Barcelona have also spoken out against the proposal.
The agreement covers all clubs’ audiovisual rights for the next 50 years claims Madrid and Barcelona. Los Blancos are suing because they were not properly consulted. However, after a general assembly overwhelmingly approved it on Thursday, the agreement will go ahead as planned despite the fact that Barcelona and Madrid are two of the four clubs that have opted out of the agreement.
After the proposal was approved, LaLiga president Tebas stated categorically that Barcelona could have retained Messi – who has now joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent – if they had signed up. “I don’t know exactly what Barca are doing to lower their wage-bill — with the CVC money they would have had around €40m more,” Tebas said according to AS.
“It could have been for Messi, or others, to make a more competitive squad. We are hurt by Messi leaving, for sure, but there is no clause in any TV deal which sees us get less money without Messi, although it could hurt companies who are looking to add subscribers and fans of the biggest clubs. In LaLiga we’ve always wanted to have the best players but then Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar left and Messi has now left.”
“I’d say it’s probably been quite traumatic because for a whole month the president of Barcelona kept saying everything was going well and all of a sudden, one afternoon, the whole transaction went down. So it’s a real shame that Messi has left but we’ve worked a lot to ensure our value in broadcasting rights doesn’t go down.”
“I’m convinced that the fans of Barcelona in Spain will still watch Barcelona as well whether or not Messi is playing for them. We signed recently an eight-year contract with ESPN and there was no clause that obliged us to have Messi playing for our league. Who knows in eight years’ time who is playing in the Spanish league. They’re important, the players, and they help, but they’re not essential.”
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