Spanish league (LFP) president Javier Tebas has admitted that the new sponsorship deal with Banco Santander is for a lower sum than the previous arrangement with BBVA, while also defending another rebranding of Spanish football's second tier.
A new three-year deal for Spain's top flight to become known as La Liga Santander was announced on Thursday, with no financial details officially released, although Bloomberg report the deal to be worth around €20 million per season.
The announcement came as a surprise as Tebas had just last month stated that his plan was to follow the English Premier League in not having one main sponsor and instead increasing revenues via multiple commercial arrangements with different companies.
The previous title sponsorship with BBVA had reportedly been worth €26m per year. At the news conference announcing the new Santander partnership, Tebas admitted that La Liga would now receive less money but would be compensated in other ways.
"It must be said, Banco Santander will pay less than we could have received before," Tebas said. "But when we looked for someone to join with La Liga, it was much more important to have someone who fitted our objective of internationalisation. Money wasn't the important thing.
"What we can do in that area with Banco Santander compensates a lot in that respect. We want to be close to those who will help us grow and continue to be the best league in the world, just like Banco Santander is the best bank in the world."
The new arrangement will also see Spain's second division, which was rebranded as La Liga 2 less than a month ago, now being called LaLiga 1|2|3 as Santander have a banking product by that name.
Tebas accepted that some had found it difficult to take the new name seriously, but said a new logo would make it clear that the "two" was the most important part.
"It will be LaLiga 1|2|3; with the 2 biggest," he said. "I know there have been some people mocking it, but the two character will be higher, and the 1 and the 3 will be smaller."