La Liga president criticises Spanish FA chief over TV rights reform deadlock

La Liga president Javier Tebas has again strongly criticised Spanish FA (RFEF) chief Angel Maria Villar after attempts to collectivise the league's TV revenues hit another hurdle.

Spanish clubs are currently free to individually sell their TV rights, leading to a situation where giants Real Madrid and Barcelona together earn as much as the other 18 clubs combined.

The Spanish government have prepared a draft law which would mandate that the rights are sold collectively, which it is hoped will lead to a much bigger total revenue pot that can then be distributed more equally among all 20 clubs.

However the legislation (a Royal Decree) has apparently been deadlocked for months now, with the latest public issue being Villar's claims that the RFEF, and not La Liga authorities, should be in charge of the share-out.

La Liga chief Tebas strongly disagrees, and a statement released by his body after a meeting of all 20 clubs on Tuesday squarely blamed Villar for centralised selling of TV rights not having been already adopted.

"Spanish professional football, with the LFP as its main governing body and the clubs that comprise it, does not currently feel represented by the President of the RFEF due to his attitude," the statement said.

"The LFP and clubs request that he changes his conduct immediately for the sake of Spanish football as a whole, and that he carries out all of the actions necessary to facilitate the passing of the Royal Decree for centralised selling.

"May he be warned that should be fail to do this, he will be directly opposed by professional football."

Spain's secretary of state for sport Miguel Cardenal called both Tebas and Villar to a meeting last week, at which the final details of the deal were to be discussed, only for Villar to surprisingly not show up.

Tebas then told reporters after Wednesday's meeting that the long-serving FA chief was trying to use this particular issue for leverage in another ongoing row with the Spanish government over the funding of the federation.

"The clubs do not feel represented by the president of the RFEF," he said. "We don't have a problem with the RFEF, but rather, the problem is with the president of the RFEF.

"Everybody wants the Royal Decree to go ahead; last Thursday we were called upon by the government in order to make the definitive move forward and the RFEF did not attend.

"The RFEF wants to mix the content of the Royal Decree with a justification of subsidies and grassroots football. These problems cannot be mixed because the aim of this agreement is to not only benefit professional football, it is also targeted at benefiting the fans."