SPAIN’S football clubs have dug themselves into €663,876 million debt to the Spanish Tax Office, with La Liga teams accounting for €500 million of it.

The huge figure does not even include premiere teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona Football Club, Bilbao Athletic and Osasuna, who are not required to disclose their current debts.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports has termed the situation ‘worrisome,’ yet Enrique Cerezo, president of Atlético Madrid seems unphased.

“It makes me laugh when people talk about the €500 million debt to the Tax Office. And that’s a tragedy?” Cerezo said, cutting the half-billion to size.

“Any business in a debt moratorium could triple that,” he continued.

“I understand that the Tax Office wants to charge [the clubs] and this and that,” Cerezo stated, “but from September to May we keep a great part of the country entertained.”



  1. Might help if the TV deal was fair as Real Madrid and Barca get over 140 million euros each with all other clubs getting under 40 million with at least 12 getting less than 12 million. Of course on top of that the big 2 get enormous amount of help from the banks “enchufe”

    Spanish football is loaded in the favor of the big 2 just like the politics here with PSOE and PP, but last year At.Madrid broke that cycle so maybe there is hope for PODEMOS

  2. The TV earnings that Madrid and Barcelona get are a very small proportion of the earnings that make them the 1st and 3rd biggest earning clubs world-wide. Their major earnings are from marketing deals (eg shirt sales worldwide) and besides there is soon to be a re-negotiated tv deal. As for the claim that Spanish football is a 2 horse race – can anyone remember who won the Europa league last season? (answer – Sevilla). And who were the runners up in the Champions League? (Answer – Atletico).
    Still, maybe the English Premiership can catch up this season – they’ve certainly lashed out plenty of their Arab/US/Russian money on players from La Liga such as Sanchez, di Maria, Silva, Mata, Costa, Fabregas etc over the last 2 seasons.

  3. Why are you talking about the EPL this is an article about La Liga? Of course Barca and Real Madrid make a lot of money through marketing deals but to do that you have to have marketability. This is something the small clubs don’t have because they can even afford to pay players/taxes and if the TV deal was fairer they would have more chance of being able to compete by having the odd star player which would attached better sponsorship deals and bigger crowds. In Spain they have a follow the winner mentality and this was so apparent when Malaga were in CL and I saw more Malaga shirts than in the previous 10 years I had lived here. The people are very proud of where they come from so if their local team does well they follow.

    On top of all the TV money the big 2 have huge enchufe with major banks and local authorities two examples of that was the Real Madrid training crowd scandal and various Barca signings. I remember just before the World Cup 4 years ago Barca didn’t have the money to pay the players wages but a little intervention from the banks and they not only paid wages but brought David Villa.

    . IMO it’s a scandal that At.Madrid win the league and still receive a 25% of what the big 2 hot in TV revenue which forces them to sell where as Barca finish 3rd and end by buying Luis Suarez, not a level playing field.

    I watch La Liga and EPL and follow the politics of the sport, yes la Liga is a high quality product but it is not the best to watch with empty stadiums, stupid KO times, erratic TV calendar, problems with racism and some of the best theatre in the world .

    la Liga needs to be careful as it could quiet easily go the way the Italian league went.

  4. Follow the winner mentality? Of course it couldn’t happen in say Germany (Bayern Munich) or England (Man U or Chelsea) . Wrong, it’s a human condition, and that’s why the big clubs have huge followings in Asia, the Americas etc. For the moment the big Spanish clubs are good at exploiting this.

  5. Bad examples using Germany and England where football is followed from top to bottom with large crowds going both home and away. I am a fan of Oxford United who are in the 4th division as this is my town, on the Opennng day of season we had also 6000 fans at the game.

    In every country you have a certain amount of fans he who follow the big teams but in Spain it’s like 75% with most people having 2 teams. As for Spanish clubs exploiting it!!!! you have to be joking as it is almost a monopoly.

  6. Marketing in Spain is a disaster especially when it comes to sport. Last year a friend of mine wanted to spend weekend in Madrid and catch a game but couldn’t work out why all games were kicking off at same time. I explain the details of Start times are not out until about 10 days before matches, he did both in the end and went to Paris.

    I posted this a couple of days ago on article on World Baskekball championships which are happening in Spain at the moment:

    Awful organization, no one seems to be talking about this tournament as this country’s Real Madrid / Barca obsessed media talk just that. Spain’s first 2 opening games are at the same time as the main attraction the USA play and at same time as Atletico Madrid play on Saturday and Real Madrid play on Sunday , round of a applause for those organizing this tournament.
    I had to laugh recently when Malaga’s first game of the season was at 7, I mean come on!!!! It’s August when everyone is on the Beach and it’s hot. Why not put game on at 10 and guarantee a full house, clueless

  7. Marketing in Spain as regards football – a world beater. Barcelona and Real Madrid are consistently in the world top 3. You find people wearing Barca or Madrid shirts the world over. Incidentally it is simply not true that no-one supports any other team – you can see 50,000 crowds at Sevilla, Valencia or Atletico, whilst support at places like Athletic Bilbao is still as intense as anywhere. It’s true that teams in lower divisions don’t draw big crowds, but that’s true in most countries and hardly unique to Spain.
    Also not true that all games take place at the same time (and I’m speaking as someone who preferred the old “all games take place at 3pm on a Saturday” back home). Games are normally staggered over several slots on a Saturday and Sunday.

  8. The marketing is due to players they are able to sign, not a level playing field even a Spanish fan will tell you that. Just look at the champions of a Spain who have been forced sell most their team to balance books while Barca and Real who finish behind them sign huge stars. As for full stadium you are mistaken as crowd numbers are poor, yes have teams like Betis and Atletico, Bilbao and Valencia to a certain degree who you would consider real fans but apart from that it’s pretty badly supported, of course except when the real or Barca circus comes to town where the clubs hike prices which stops a lot real fans being able to go.

    I to miss 3 o’clock Ko, that shows are age

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