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Splits in La Liga over distribution of broadcasting revenues

Sevilla vice-president Jose Maria Cruz has criticised the club's La Liga rivals after a major split emerged in the quest for greater equality in broadcast revenue distribution, reports Sport Business. A group of 12 La Liga clubs pledged to maintain their fight against FC Barcelona and Real Madrid's overwhelming financial dominance of Spanish football after staging their first meeting earlier this month.

Led by Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido, officials from Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Real Betis, Espanyol, Granada, Malaga, Osasuna, Racing Santander, Valencia, Villarreal and Real Zaragoza gathered in Seville with the intention of seeking a move to a centralised rights selling model overseen by the Spanish Football League (LFP).

However, an LFP meeting has seen a major schism emerge in the group with Cruz stating only Espanyol and Betis supported Sevilla with a "praiseworthy" defence of its position. "The posture they took was all against Sevilla," said Cruz. "Real Madrid had a strong reaction against Sevilla's position, a sign that they feel threatened and other clubs even apologised for having gone to the Sevilla meeting."

The issue of Barcelona and Real Madrid's financial dominance has been a long running concern amongst their La Liga rivals.

The two giants currently take around half of the league's total TV income of Eur600 million with La Liga clubs selling their rights on a team-by-team basis, rather than in a collective bargaining deal.

Barcelona and Real last year brokered an agreement with 11 other top-flight sides to share some of the TV revenues from 2015, but many believe this is likely to have little effect.

Speaking on Saturday, Del Nido maintained that Real Madrid and Barcelona have "zero chance of winning this battle"; while Cruz insisted that Sevilla would continue its crusade.

"It shows once again that consensus is only possible when we all defer to what is proposed by Real Madrid and Barcelona, otherwise consensus is unfeasible," he said. "We are going to stick to our line because we believe we have right on our side."

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Dave Williams

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