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Saturday, 26 September 2020

Spain La Liga clubs pledge 200 million euros to other sports, lower leagues amid the Coronavirus crisis

Reuters , Tuesday 21 Apr 2020
Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - September 28, 2019 Real Madrid's Gareth Bale in action with Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez REUTERS
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Clubs in Spain's top two divisions have agreed to give an additional 200 million euros ($217 million) over the next four years to boost Spanish sports and lower league football, the league's organising body La Liga said in a statement on Tuesday.

Since signing a collective broadcasting rights deal in 2015, La Liga has donated 1% of its revenue to Spain's sports ministry.

It has increased this to 2.5% as part of a new agreement, while it has doubled its contribution to the national soccer federation (RFEF) from 1% to 2%.

The agreement comes after an eight-hour meeting between La Liga's president Javier Tebas and RFEF chief Luis Rubiales, who have had a long-running dispute over how Spanish soccer should be run, and the sports minister Irene Lozano.

"This agreement looks to help sport not just in these moments of crisis provoked by COVID-19 but forever," said the statement.

"This is a structural measure with no time limit which will strengthen the commitment of the professional clubs and La Liga with Spanish sport."

Many La Liga clubs have been damaged financially by the pause in football due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have enacted wage cuts, although other sports and non-professional clubs have also been hit during the national state of emergency.

The virus has so far infected more than 200,000 people in Spain, claiming 21,282 lives.

La Liga's statement added that it would be contributing a total of 51 million euros per year to the sports ministry as a result of the new agreement, which would go towards "creating a fund to help boost organised sport, Olympic and Paralympic sports and internationalisation of sport".

The 1% increase to the RFEF would mean an increase of 17 million euros, taking its total contribution to the federation to 58.7 million euros, which would go towards "improving infrastructure and improving the competitiveness of non-professional leagues.

The statement also said La Liga had agreed to contribute 3.3 million euros per season for the next three seasons to an emergency fund to help non-professional players. ($1 = 0.9210 euros)

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