Gareth Bale’s transfer smashes surplus of Spanish football clubs


The Spanish Football League has become a players export factory to alleviate the serious difficulties the vast majority of clubs are facing. In just three years Spanish soccer has gone from being a net importer to an exporter, thanks to a combination of two factors: the great talent from the quarries of the teams and clubs’ voluminous debts with banks and Social Security.

But the Real Madrid is breaking the trend. Florentino Perez’s investment in Christian Bale will surpass the previous record of 94 million for Cristiano Ronaldo. It will also neutralize the 140 million surplus of Spanish clubs after about 390 million euros sales of good players to teams from other countries, mostly the United Kingdom. To this amount must be deducted some acquisitions abroad, all low profile, except for the Brazilian Neymar to Barcelona, which, according to the Catalan club, has been of 57 million.

In total, up to 80 players from Spanish clubs have gone abroad, although not all of them have brought some millions to their former teams: 25 football players are walking out of Spain after the end of their contract and other 23 are returning to their clubs of origin after being assigned to play in the Spanish League.

The signing of Bale will destabilize that picture of overall renovation of Spanish soccer, increasingly more dual, more unbalanced, plunged into two realities: the economic power of Real Madrid and Barcelona, and the economic suffering of the rest.

Last July, the Spanish Government unveiled the details of the football clubs’ debt with the State: more than 663 million euros, of which more than 500 million correspond to first division teams. That accumulated debt corresponds to all clubs except Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atlethic of Bilbao and Osasuna, which are not constituted as sports corporations. These figures add to the debt of the football clubs with the Social Security, which amounts to 16.6 million, according to official data.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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