Soccer - Barca, Real and Bilbao challenge LaLiga CVC deal

MADRID (Reuters) - Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao all announced on Friday that they were challenging LaLiga's private equity investment deal with CVC.

'Boost LaLiga', which was ratified last month by 38 of 42 clubs across Spain's top two divisions and is worth a reported 2.2 billion euros ($2.58 billion), means CVC would receive 11% of revenue from television rights over the next 50 years in exchange for pouring money into LaLiga.

The fourth club to reject the measure was second division side Oviedo, however they have since changed their stance and come on board with the project.

The vast majority of the cash is to be given to clubs to spend on new infrastructure and modernisation projects as well as increasing how much they can spend on players.

"Athletic Club, F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. wish to announce that they have contested the resolution adopted by the LaLiga Assembly on 12 August 2021, in relation to the deal between LaLiga and CVC," a joint statement read.

"The agreement violates the provisions of the applicable regulations (and in particular, the Royal Decree-Law 5/2015) and it was adopted within the framework of a procedure that is grossly irregular and disrespectful to the minimum guarantees required for these purposes, especially in a deal of such importance and scope."

Real last month announced they would launch civil and criminal lawsuits against the president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, and the chief of CVC Capital Partners, Javier de Jaime Guijarro over the proposed deal.

Barca offered a further explanation of their stance: "The Club's Economic Committee presented a study that concluded the agreement made no sense for Barcelona, not for its cost, nor the remuneration it would receive, the duration or the kind of obligations that it entails," a separate statement read.

"It's surprising they're challenging something that doesn't actually affect them. They would only benefit from the growth of LaLiga in the coming years," a LaLiga spokesman told Reuters.

"LaLiga has the support for the agreement from 39 of the 42 clubs that make up the league. We will continue working with CVC on this project, which we are confident is good for LaLiga and the clubs.

"The challenge demonstrates that these three clubs are attempting to prevent growth for the other clubs in the league."

($1 = 0.8526 euros)

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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