Despite opposition from Real Madrid and Barcelona, the majority of Spanish league clubs on Thursday approved a deal with an investment fund worth up to 2.7 billion euros (USD 3.2 billion). (More Football News)
The league said 38 of the 42 clubs from the first and second divisions in Spain voted in favor of the deal with private equity firm CVC, which is intended to boost the clubs' finances and help the league cut into the Premier League's global dominance.
The league and CVC gave the four clubs who voted against the deal the option to opt out, meaning they would not benefit from the new funds and would not relinquish a percentage of their future revenues. Athletic Bilbao also opposed the agreement. The fourth club that voted against the deal was not disclosed.
Madrid and Barcelona said that although the deal would inject a significant influx of cash in the next three years, the agreement would hurt the clubs' income from broadcast rights in the long term as they would be tied to it for the next 50 years.
Madrid and Barcelona had already said they planned to take legal action against the league and CVC if the deal was approved in the general assembly.
Madrid noted that both the Italian and the German leagues refused the deal with CVC because they felt it undervalued their leagues.
The Spanish league was valued at 24.2 billion euros (USD 28.4 billion) in the deal with CVC, which used to own Formula One and has been involved in other endeavors related to sports. The valuation would not change if Barcelona and Madrid opted out, the league said.
As part of the agreement, CVC would have a share of about 10% of the league's revenues and a stake of 10% in a new commercial entity. 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.
The league said CVC will not have control of the management of the competition, or the sale of its broadcasting rights.