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Financial divide 'killing' Spanish soccer
Reuters, August 30th, 2011 1:06PM

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Villarreal president Fernando Roig, whose team started the season Monday with a 5-0 loss to Barcelona, says the growing financial disparity between Barcelona and Real Madrid and the rest of La Liga is killing Spanish soccer. Real Madrid started its campaign with a 6-0 win at Real Zaragoza. (Real and Barcelona have been La Liga's only champs in the last seven years.)

"If they only want to have two matches (Real vs. Barca), let them have two matches, but this isn't good for soccer," Roig
said. "I give it three or four years. Either this changes or we kill Spanish soccer."    

Villarreal operated on a budget of about $100 million last season compared to Barca's of more than $600 million. Barca and Real, the world's two richest clubs in terms of revenue, take around half the total pot of Spanish TV income of $860 million. The remaining 18 teams earn far less than their peers in rival European leagues, where a system of collective bargaining
allows for fairer cash distribution.    

"The two biggest clubs steal the television revenues from the other teams," Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido said.
"It's a league which only two teams can win, it's third-world."

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