In the summer of 2018, the Spanish La Liga experienced a serious blow – Real Madrid left the Portuguese idol Santiago Bernabeu Cristiano Ronaldo after nine brilliant seasons. Three years later, the Pyrenees decided to leave his main opponent in terms of winning various individual awards and, above all, the Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi. The Argentinian, who played his entire professional career at Barcelona, at 34 agreed to leave troubled Catalonia and sign a contract with Paris Saint-Germain, much more pleasant in all respects (and above all financially).
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It was on Messi and Ronaldo that the prestige of the Spanish La Liga abroad was kept for many years. In China, Japan, the USA, and European countries, many fans followed the tournament vicissitudes of the Spanish championship solely in order to know what the success of the Argentinean or the Portuguese was. Needless to say, the view ratings of El Clásico around the world, when the colors of Barcelona and Real Madrid defended Messi and Ronaldo.
But now the key stars of world football of the last decade are no longer in the Spanish championship, which is why the league leadership and its participating clubs have to look for new ways to stay in sight, and finally not go into the shadow of financially more powerful tournaments, such as, for example, English Premier League.
Since 2013, former Huesca boss Javier Tebas has been the president of La Liga. He is especially praised for his toughness and adherence to principles on key issues, as well as for his ability, as they say, to find a needle in a haystack. Finding the opportunity to squeeze the maximum benefit out of the minimum opportunity is also about Tebas. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many football leagues have lost a significant part of their earnings, but the Spanish championship during this period managed to increase business income by 33%, reaching the figure in the “profitability” column of 140 million euros.
Of course, Tebas and his associates find it incredibly difficult to compete with the power and capabilities of the English Premier League. In particular, recent data show that the islanders have learned much more effectively to sell their championship abroad. If La Liga entered into a deal with US broadcasters to sell television rights on the market of this state for 1.5 billion euros over eight years (the winner of the tender was ESPN), then the Premier League gained 2.12 billion euros from cooperation with NBC Sports, which received the opportunity to be the official broadcaster of the tournament for the next six years. That is, 6 seasons of the Premier League in the North American market, which in general is very attractive for the European leagues, but by no means key in terms of determining the total amount of income, are almost one and a half times more expensive than 8 seasons of La Liga.
This difference does not speak in favor of Tebas, but it is really very difficult for the president of La Liga to influence the development of individual clubs in the championship, especially its top representatives, who are going through hard times due to management mistakes, especially Barcelona.
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