Sevilla chief Cruz warns of backlash over TV revenue share

Sevilla vice-president Jose Maria Cruz says Primera Division clubs are becoming increasingly frustrated with the way television revenue is shared in Spain.

Barcelona and Real Madrid currently receive over 50 per cent of the money for the league as a whole at around 135 million euros a season each with the third highest recipient Valencia making only 48m. euros.

Sevilla, led by their president Jose Maria del Nido, have often led the charge for a fairer distribution of rights in recent years, but Cruz claims that with 75 per cent of the league now willing to take action on the issue, now is the time for change.

Speaking after a meeting attended by 13 clubs in Madrid, he told AS: "The most reasonable thing is to have this debate not in private but within the LFP (Spanish Football League). We have the previous bad experience of having a preview meeting with an order for the day drawn up that the league then refused to convene. We hope that now they will adopt a different decision. If they have deaf ears to this petition from the majority of the clubs, we will adopt measures of strength.

"The positive thing was the presence of 13 of the 15 teams called upon. Malaga and Valencia couldn't attend for justifiable reasons but they confirmed their assistance. Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca and Granada have been incorporated and where there were just six clubs previously today there are 15 more or less in agreement.

"The league is giving fewer and fewer answers to the collective interest of the league and more to Real Madrid and Barcelona. This is what the clubs have responded to. It is not possible to trust the league in its current form. It is necessary to change. To free the control that two big clubs have in the Primera Division and Javier Tebas (vice-president of the LFP who also manages over 30 clubs television deals) has in the Segunda Division and this is tremendously positive. We hope that this will be a path without return.

"We have been slow to realise that the clubs cannot be mere spectators to its disputes and we have to take the initiative."

Cruz said that the next step would be to discuss with television providers Mediapro and Canal+ a solution that would benefit all the clubs involved, including a fairer allocation of kick-off times.

He added: "We want to agree on an operating model with Mediapro and Canal+ for a rational and orderly system of rights for the coming years, including a transparent, consensual and balanced arrangement of fixtures and kick-off times for all teams and to clarify what will be the operating model that will perform best."

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