Spain Planning New Law To Force Collective Bargaining For TV Revenue
Spain Secretary for Sport Miguel Cardenal said that a new Spanish sports law "will include an obligation for football clubs to negotiate the sale of television rights collectively as in other major European leagues," according to Iain Rogers of REUTERS. The legislation, to be presented toward the end of this year, "would do away with the practice of clubs signing deals with broadcasters individually." Under the current system, Real Madrid and Barcelona "split around half of the total pot" of €650M ($848M) for La Liga rights between them. Their domestic rivals, many who "are in dire financial straits, are left to fight over the scraps." Cardenal said, "It's an extremely important issue because it's the main source of funding (for the clubs). The idea is that the new law will regulate the collective sale (of TV rights) and that they will be sold in a single package." Analysts "have long argued that Spain needs to adopt a system of collective bargaining and income sharing," or else more of its professional clubs will fall into administration. Cardenal said that "it would be up to the clubs themselves to decide how the money is shared out." However, he added "it would be natural to expect the gap between those who get the most and those who get the least to narrow" (REUTERS, 4/18).