BARCELONA and Real Madrid have been joined by Athletic Bilbao in launching a legal fight against La Liga’s recently approved deal with a private equity fund.

La Liga clubs overwhelmingly voted last week to accept at €2 billion offer from CVC Capital Partners.

37 clubs approved the deal with three opposing and two abstentions.

CVC will take an 8.2% stake in a new company that will look after money earned from broadcasting and sponsorship rights.

The deal was ‘an illegal transaction that causes irreparable damage to the entire Spanish football sector and flagrantly violates the most elementary principles of Spanish sports law and the La Liga statutes,’ said Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao in a statement.

The CVC offer commits clubs to allocating 70% of funds for investments to new infrastructure and modernisation projects.

Up to 15% can be used to sign players, with the remaining 15% cent for reducing debt.

“This is a new milestone in the history of La Liga and its clubs,” La Liga president Javier Tebas said last week.

Reacting to Real Madrid’s stance this Wednesday, a La Liga statement said: “This decision by Real Madrid was a foreseeable reaction, given the club’s history of head-on opposition and appeal against any strategic initiative that represents an advance and a boost for the competition and its clubs.”

There’s little love lost between Real and Spanish football authorities as the Madrid club, along with city rivals Atletico and Barcelona, all signed up to the quickly-aborted rebel European Super League last year.

It’s understood that the three clubs objecting to the CVC deal will still get their share of TV rights money but will not get any CVC investment.

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