The Spanish title race turned race which at one stage was a three horse race, turned out to be a predictable race in the end. Barcelona and the two Madrid sides (Real and Atletico) were all fighting it out to be the ‘top dogs’ in Spain.
Until christmas this was very much the case as all three sides were winning and the gap at the top was very small – but fast forward few months where there were a few key injuries to Real’s star players and slowly but surely that would see the end to their hopes.
As for Real’s city rivals Atletico too many dropped points meant there title race and title defence ended prematurely in comparison to Barcelona . Despite Barcelona winning the title under their manager Luis Enrique with a 1-0 win over defending champions Ateltico – and being on course for a treble, Spanish football is under the spotlight for issues which are away from the sporting field.
This Barcelona who stand to be the the Barcelona second team to get a treble in their manager’s debut season after Pep Guardiola. Now though they find themselves caught in a battle of a different type. For so many years Barcelona and Real Madrid have enjoyed the bulk of the TV revenue that has come in for the rights to screen matches on specialist sporting TV stations. Now that is about to change as the other clubs in La Liga have voiced their frustrations of the monopoly that Real and Barca have enjoyed.
To highlight the issue of lack of equality in terms of TV revenue distribution saw Atletico Madrid (last years La Liga champions as a matter of fact be some £400 million in debt). It’s cases such as Ateltico that only highlight the money divide in Spain.
Such was the discontent of the other clubs that the Spanish league was in danger of chaos as strike action was called for – and the possibility of Barcelona’s Copa Del Rey final against Atletic Bilbao being called off was very real, as well as the remaining league games. However such didn’t happen… for now – but according to Spanish football experts, discussions of strike action could be reopened in June as the other Spanish clubs are growing discontent with the money divide from TV revenue.
In countries such as England, revenue is evenly shared and in 2013 in fact Cardiff who got relegated form the premier league that year, earned more TV revenue than 20 time English champions. With facts like that, it’s easier to understand why the other Spanish clubs are taking the action they have taken. What else must be turning Spanish football clubs heads is the eye watering £5.1 billion agreement that the premier league made with TV broadcasters such as BT and Sky.
The problem of TV money in Spain not being fairly distributed in Spain won’t go away until a fair deal is established for all. Football like anything else is based on money – and as they say money makes the world go round!