MADRID, Jan 31 (Reuters) – A civil lawsuit against LaLiga filed by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao over a €2bn private equity deal agreed by the administrators of elite Spanish football has been admitted by a Madrid court, the court said on Monday.
The judge investigating the case called the parties to a hearing of precautionary measures on 24 February, according to a report by El Confidencial confirmed by the authorities to Reuters.
All but five of the 42 clubs in the top two divisions signed up in December to the €2bn investment from CVC Capital Partners, the first of its kind in Europe.
Four clubs, including the top-flight trio, opted out and one abstained before Real, Barca and Athletic decided to sue the league.
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 LaLiga statutes,” the three clubs said in a statement last month.
LaLiga told Reuters that it was going ahead with its plans.
The agreement, dubbed “LaLiga Boost”, buys CVC an 8.2 per cent stake in a new company that will get broadcasting revenues and sponsorship rights for 50 years.
It commits clubs to allocating 70 per cent of funds for investments to new infrastructure and modernisation projects. Up to 15 per cent can be used to sign players, with the remaining 15 per cent for reducing debt.
“This decision 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,” LaLiga said in a statement.
(Reporting by Fernando Kallas and Emma Pinedo Gonzalez, editing by Ed Osmond)