Wednesday, 22 May 2024
BusinessA Madrid court dismisses the lawsuit by Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao...

A Madrid court dismisses the lawsuit by Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao against CVC’s entry into LaLiga

Stopping the judicial attempt by Athletic Club and Real Madrid to challenge the LaLiga and CVC agreement. The Court of First Instance No. 15 of Madrid has dismissed the lawsuit filed by both clubs against the National Football League, which had as its object the challenge of the third and fourth points of the extraordinary general assembly of the League held on December 10, 2021, in which the final terms of the commercial operation between this organization and the venture capital fund CVC Capital Partners were approved.

The agreement that tried to challenge both teams made reference to the so-called Plan Liga Impulso program, which was an investment by CVC in a company created by LaLiga in exchange for obtaining a part of the audiovisual income of the first and second division clubs. In a communication made public this Tuesday, the court dismisses the lawsuit filed by the Bilbao and Madrid clubs, which together with FC Barcelona were the only three teams that were left out of this project.

LaLiga assured that it was a “strategic operation to improve the competitiveness of the clubs and maximize the income derived from the commercialization of audiovisual rights.” However, the plaintiffs challenged the process, stating that “it represents a substantial alteration of the nature of La Liga and the governance regime of Spanish football.”

The court rejects the three causes of challenge raised by the plaintiffs, understanding that the statutes of La Liga have not been violated in relation to the lack of information, nor was Royal Decree-Law 5/2015 violated in that general assembly. regulates the ownership regime for audiovisual rights, nor was the Sports Law violated by authorizing a restructuring of La Liga in violation of its statutes.

The plaintiff clubs pointed out that the information they had received from the football employers’ association was not sufficient to evaluate the operation. Although, LaLiga justified that it had offered meetings to all interested parties to clarify any doubts that arose about the process, as well as facilitate contact with those responsible for the legal, fiscal analysis and the business plan. The ruling indicates in this regard that “the plaintiffs had at their disposal the necessary information to cast their vote.”

The court clarifies that “the jurisprudence on this point unanimously indicates that the right to information is fundamental in that it is instrumental to the right to vote, but is neither absolute nor unlimited.” “The information provided must be necessary and sufficient so that the participants of the Assembly can decide with knowledge of the facts the meaning of their vote, which is not incompatible with conciseness or brevity as long as the information is not false, inaccurate and incomplete in the sense that it can lead to errors due to misinformation.”

Thus, the resolution adds, before which an appeal can be filed before the Provincial Court of Madrid, “from what was done it does not follow that the latter was the case at hand, since it has not been proven in any way that the information that the plaintiffs requested and had not been provided was relevant or conclusive to be able to decide on their voting direction regarding the contested agreements.”

Another point raised by the plaintiff clubs was the criticism that it could be contrary to the statutes of La Liga and the law that stipulates the distribution of audiovisual rights. The court disagrees with the plaintiffs’ opinion and also rejects their claim that the League appropriate and consequently expropriate from the clubs part of the commercialization of audiovisual rights that only belong to the clubs. “The ownership of the audiovisual rights does not prevent them, but on the contrary empowers them to dispose of them by adopting the agreements that they consider within the legal limits,” says the ruling. “For that same reason and respecting the ownership, the clubs that decide not to participate in the operation will obtain exactly the same distributed net income that they would have received if the expenses and income linked to the operation did not exist, that is, the operation has no any impact on the audiovisual rights of the plaintiffs. The cost of the operation, the resolution clarifies, is only passed on to those who adhere.”

The third of the aspects criticized by the clubs referred to the possible influence of the investment fund in the governance of the body that directs Spanish football. The ruling notes that “it must be noted that CVC does not hold any position in the governing and administrative bodies of La Liga nor is it a member of the association, that La Liga maintains the majority of the share capital of LGI and the right to appoint the majority of the directors and that the monitoring committee that is regulated in the joint account contract cannot be understood as an interference in the governance prohibited legally or statutorily, since – the sentence concludes -, it is precisely planned to study the decisions of the League and its consequence, only, and in any case, would entail a review of the economic conditions of the participation account which, as stated above, would not affect the rights of the plaintiffs.

With this ruling, a new chapter in the media and legal battle opened in 2021 by the Spanish football employers and the clubs that decided not to participate in this operation in which CVC made a million-dollar investment to renew stadiums, infrastructure or clean up teams is fulfilled. professionals.

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