LaLiga’s member clubs have approved a project that will see private equity firm CVC Capital Partners invest in a new holding company with a focus on commercial ventures, with proceeds designed to allow teams to invest in infrastructure work.
LaLiga Impulso was first unveiled on August 4 and will see LaLiga, the governing body of the top two divisions of Spanish club football, give up 10% of its business to CVC. LaLiga’s Executive Committee last week unanimously approved the proposal and it was signed off by the General Assembly yesterday (Thursday).
However, this was not unanimous, with 38 of the required 32 clubs voting in favour. LaLiga teams FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Club, as well as Segunda División outfit Real Oviedo, voted against.
Through the strategic agreement, CVC becomes a partner of LaLiga and its clubs with the objective of boosting global growth and continuing the organisation’s transformation into a global digital entertainment company. LaLiga will retain its sporting responsibilities, as well as the organisation and management of the marketing of audiovisual rights.
LaLiga said the clubs that have approved the operation are likely to receive between €2.1bn (£1.79bn/$2.46bn) and €2.2bn. This is down from the initially outlined €2.7bn due to the rejections from the four clubs.
Those in favour have committed to allocate 70% of the resources they receive within the framework of the project to investments related to their development in both infrastructure and technological innovation, with the possibility of an additional 15% for the registration of players and the other 15% for the restructuring of financial debt.
Some 90% of the capital invested in LaLiga Impulso will go to the clubs. A percentage will be earmarked for other areas of Spanish sport and football.
Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, said: “We are convinced that LaLiga Impulso is the answer to the challenges we have to face in the medium and long term. It is a strategic agreement that will provide our clubs with greater capacity, will transform their management model and boost the appeal of our competition. It is the boost we need to turn LaLiga into a global digital entertainment company that has the most attractive football competition in the world.”
The CVC deal had been met with stiff opposition heading into yesterday’s vote. The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) termed it “totally illegal”, while Real said it would launch both civil and criminal legal action against Tebas, CVC Capital Partners managing partner Javier de Jaime Guijarro and the private equity firm itself.
Real Madrid, along with Barcelona, last week hit out at the proposal, which is designed to aid the financial pain being felt by Spanish football during COVID-19. Real said the agreement was made without its participation or knowledge. Real added that LaLiga had only provided the club with “limited access” to the terms of the agreement for the first time on August 5.
Real, Barcelona, Athletic Club and Real Oviedo will not receive any of the revenue from the CVC agreement, but they will also not see their audiovisual rights or income affected either.
Tebas yesterday said that CVC will receive 11% of revenue from LaLiga broadcast rights over the next 50 years for investing in the organisation, although this will drop to 8-9% if the four clubs do drop out.