LFP want to reduce ticket prices, in exchange for a better TV deal
Talks are under way, that could monumentally change the face of Spanish football for the better.
At long last, we may be about to see a huge change for the better in Spanish football, spurred by the ongoing debates about unfair distribution of TV money amongst clubs, exorbitant ticket prices and rapidly falling attendances at matches.
A report published in El Confidencial Digital has revealed that the LFP, who govern and run Liga BBVA and Liga Adelante, are currently engaged in negotiations with all the clubs in the top two divisions, for a monumental change that could benefit both clubs and fans.
The report claims that sources close to the LFP have revealed that talks have been ongoing for several weeks and remain ongoing. The principal objective sought by the LFP is to reduce ticket prices throughout all the Primera and Segunda clubs, by as much as fifty-percent, ahead of the start of the 2013-2014 campaign.
The governing bodies in Spanish football, along with the clubs, have become increasingly alarmed by the fall in attendances at matches over recent years. A trend that hasn’t been aided by Spanish clubs charging amongst the highest prices in European football. The obvious counterweight that the clubs will always put forward, is that due to the current unfair distribution of television revenue, the main sources of income for most clubs, is from ticket sales and match day revenue.
The difficult economic situation that is being felt more acutely in Spain than many other countries, along with amongst the highest unemployment levels, means that most average fans quite simply can no longer afford to go to football matches. That is the harsh reality that the sport in the country and the clubs, currently find themselves.
Even with the falling attendances, the clubs themselves would find it economically impossible to make such a drastic reduction to ticket prices, therefore a monumental incentive must be provided for them to do so. According to the reports, the incentive offered to the senior directors at each of the clubs in the top two divisions, one that has been perhaps the most debated in Spanish football, is a fairer deal for television rights.
Acutely aware of the critical nature of the situation that Spanish football now finds itself, not least the economically, it appears that a fairer distribution of TV revenue, compared to the current situation with Barcelona and Real Madrid commanding the lions share, is now being seriously offered by the LFP.
The clubs themselves have battled for a number of years for a fairer TV deal, but seemingly so far, without any visible resolution or agreements amongst themselves. Whilst it’s no surprise that neither Real Madrid or Barcelona would want to relinquish a larger portion of the huge revenues they receive, in light of the current situation, it seems that they’re changing their stance and becoming more willing to play their part in the changes the LFP and the rest of the clubs are discussing.
The report in El Confidencial Digital indicates that the LFP and the clubs are looking at a new model, that would closely emulate that of the German Bundesliga. In Germany, TV revenue is distributed much more evenly and fairly amongst all the clubs, whilst ticket prices are roughly half of those paid by fans in Spain. Match attendances in Germany are also much stronger, with many clubs enjoying capacity crowds for games. Clearly this is something that the Spanish clubs and the governing bodies, who refer to their own league as “The League of Stars”, view with envious eyes.
Respected economists in Spain and throughout Europe have recently indicated that things urgently need to change in Spanish football, with clubs mired in huge debts and amidst the stark reality that the clubs and the leagues themselves, are unsustainable in their current situation. They have strongly advocated that swift and drastic changes are required, whilst successful management and revenue models used in England and Germany have proven that the leagues, clubs and the fans can all benefit.
If indeed the deal on the table with clubs, offered by the LFP, is at as an advanced a stage as the reports are suggesting, the changes could be in place as early as next season. This would be most welcome at all the clubs and if this incentive can also halve ticket prices at matches, it will certainly be embraced by the fans.
- Do you think a fairer TV deal will help make La Liga more competitive and will it help fill the stadiums with fans once more?
- Do you believe such negotiations are as advanced as the reports suggest, or are you more sceptical, given the years of failed negotiations so far amongst the clubs?
- Do you think the governing bodies of Spanish football, can successfully manage models closer to those of the English Premier League and German Bundesliga?
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