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SBD Global/July 30, 2014/Finance

Spanish Football League Announces Clubs Reduced Debt By €165M In '13-14

The Spanish Football League (LFP)'s debt to Spanish tax authorities stands at €482M ($646.4M) as of June 30. The amount owed was €647M at the conclusion of the '12-13 season -- meaning the debt has been reduced in the past year by €165M, a 25% decrease (LFP). EL PAIS reported the LFP and Spain's Superior Sports Council (CSD) signed an economic control protocol in '12 that is "helping to alleviate Spanish football's difficult economic situation." The LFP has assured that the majority of the debt is concentrated with clubs like Atlético Madrid and Deportivo La Coruña (EL PAIS, 7/29).

CHASING THE EPL: The BBC's Simon Stone reported LFP President Javier Tebas said that he "wants to attract all the best players in the world to the country and rival the commercial power of the English Premier League." Tebas: "We are not going to stop. We want the best 500 players." In the past two summer transfer windows, Gareth Bale -- who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham last summer -- and recent Barcelona signing Luis Suarez have "left England for Spain." The EPL's last domestic TV deal alone earned it £3B. Tebas added, "We want to make sure we have the biggest clubs and also the best players from the whole world in our league." 2014 World Cup stars James Rodriguez of Colombia and Toni Kroos of Germany have joined Real Madrid this summer. Tebas is "trying to bridge the financial gap by raising the profile of La Liga by targeting new markets, including the United States and Asia." As part of the LFP World Challenge, Tebas "held a series of meetings with 'key business partners' in San Francisco last week to discuss future strategy." With its "huge Hispanic population," the U.S. is viewed as a key market. Tebas: "It is impossible to compare us with the Premier League from a commercial perspective. What we are trying to do is get closer to them. We have been in Asia but right now our aim is to bring more teams from La Liga to this part of the world. We are working on this, it's a long-term project and is why we are here in the United States. There is a lot of support out here for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Our goal is to bring more teams here from La Liga so the football supporters in the United States can get used to them as well" (BBC, 7/29).
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