The issue of TV money, aka “Del Nido is kinda right”

Hey, a picture of Sevilla boss Jose Maria del Nido! What’s that about?

TV money.

As we all know, Del Nido has been in the news of late for making some rather intense statements about La Liga and its lack of equality.

“The reality is that they have chosen a terrible decision in order to continue widening the difference between the big clubs and the rest to charge the radios.”

“For the love of God, are there any fans not saying that the league is prostituted, adulterated, corrupted? The radio income will be another scrap to make the biggest clubs bigger and the rest even smaller.

“Our tournament is not just the biggest joke in Europe, but in the world. It is a third world league in which two clubs take the others’ television money.”

A Brave New World?

For those of you who might not be following this or don’t already know, La Liga is (finally) moving toward a more egalitarian hacking up of the TV revenue pie, one that is long overdue. For the 2014 season the deal, essentially, is that La Liga will negotiate as a whole for TV rights, with the Big Two getting 37% of the total pie (down from the demand of 40%). The rest will be distributed based on standings, viewership and other variables. Not everybody is fully on board, but things probably won’t change all that much.

Which all means what?

That basically, La Liga’s TV package is still screwed up and Del Nido is right to still be screaming bloody murder, because here’s the thing: At present, the two top teams get more than half of the money generated by TV deals. HALF. Is going from 50 to 37 percent seeming progress? Sure. “See? Look, we’re taking a smaller percentage.”

It’s also progress in that rather than doing its own deals, the Big Two should be able to lift the rest of the teams. It’s easy to see the more than half-billion Euros generated from TV rights becoming a fatter number that some estimate could be as much as 900 million by the time “egalitarianism” begins in 2014. And because Del Nido isn’t stupid, he’s screaming because taking a lower percentage of a bigger pie means that the rich get ever richer, and the gaps stay pretty much the same.

Can you be Pollyanna and say “Well, at least it helps the little teams more than it hurts the big teams?” No. For this past season, the Big Two reaped 135 million each from the TV deal. Compare this with 2010, when the bottom team, then Xerez, got 12mn, the same sum earned by teams in positions 14-20. Returning to last year, the Second Two were ATM and Valencia, with 46 and 48 million, respectively. Then came Villarreal with 31 million, Betis (!?) with 29 million and Sevilla, in at 28.

With the new deal, the Second Two have agreed to reduce their percentage of the whole from 13 to 11. Silly? Probably not, as they are banking on the hopes that tying their fate to two of the best teams in the world will mean that 11 percent will be of a much bigger pot.

What’s Del Nido’s Problem, Then?

He isn’t stupid. He’s screaming because a) he isn’t part of the Second Two and b) because he wants a deal that makes TV revenues more like a group restaurant check. You take the total, divide it by the number of folks who ate, and there you go. Now, he isn’t quite that simplistic. But he does want everyone to get the same starting figure, as part of percentages that change based on viewership, league position and other variables. And he’s absolutely right.

I know, I know …. people don’t pay to watch Malaga. Who cares about them? If we don’t do our fancy-pants solo TV deal, how can we afford to be competitive in Europe and the world? Well, I don’t do math, because numbers make me angry. But which would you rather have, assuming the current sorta-accord: 37% of 900 million, or half of 500 million? (If some math whiz works out numbers that say “Half of 500, dumbass,” I disavow that these words were ever written).

Del Nido won’t get his way with the democracy revenue sharing deal, because the Big Two would never agree to a cut of less than 100 million from TV rights. But, figuring we settle for something in the 30 percent range, that’s STILL more than the Big Two are getting right now. It also preserves the roughly 10:1 ratios, at our 30 percent vs the minnows’ 3 percent.

Much more importantly, the bottom teams would see their take more than double (again, assuming the best estimate). And that’s the current, mostly agreed-upon deal that looks to start in some form in 2014.

Another reason that Del Nido isn’t stupid is that he knows that in his ideal scenario, there is no way in hell that the big teams are going to agree to take the 900 million, divide it by 20, and be done with it. If that’s the case, why agree at all? He wants a higher percentage for everyone else. And even at a number as low as 25%, assuming that magical 900 million, we and EE still come out ahead.

So for everyone thinking that this new TV deal will mean anything at all as regards the rich getting richer, it won’t. All of this numbers blather was to get people to understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a more equitable distribution of a much bigger pie. Everybody gets richer, and how often does that happen?

Why IS Del Nido Right, You Big Stupid?

Because if we take his proposed equals arrangement and haul in, by the time variables come into play, something around 100 million per for TV rights, what does that mean, really? For starters, around 40m less per season in revenue, which means maybe we don’t buy Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas. And what’s the harm in that, if that makes the entire Liga better, if it means that Sevilla has a shot at trying to compete for some of the same players as the rest of the teams? Isn’t a more exciting league ultimately worth more money? And if our pipeline of talent is as strong as it seems to be, we’re still left in very good shape, with a roster full of world-class players. And when it comes to purchases, we’re still going to be a destination club.

Yet the question lying at the core of this business is, can anything be done to make the Liga more competitive? Absolutely, with caveats. Here are some suggestions, then the caveats:

–Gather all the team owners in one room for a meeting, lock the doors then unleash a cage full of rabid dobermans. Any team president quick enough to survive will. Then we start from scratch with people who have half a brain.

–Okay, seriously. The team presidents should start acting like people who care that the collective Liga succeeds, instead of just their team. So:

1. This means figuring out a plan to market the league, such as broadcasting the matches in a way that makes the action more visceral. Listen to the way that Premiership matches are miked, and the way that Liga matches are miked. Which one is more exciting?

2. Decide on a schedule, and stick to it. TV broadcasters love knowing when matches are going to air. So do vacationing people who’d like to buy tickets to see a team play. “Oh, it will be some number of days before or after the actual day, we think.” Stupid, stupid, stupid.

3. Suspend and fine players who dive. Yes, that means ours, too. The refs know a dive. And if they don’t, have the Liga review matches and hand down retroactive penalties, as the NFL does, irrespective of what might nor might not wind up the match official’s report. Clean up the global image of the Liga.

Which Leaves Us With What?

Right now, there are two teams that almost everybody in the world wants to see, at the top of Spanish football. That makes La Liga TV rights potentially the most lucrative in football (yes, even more than the Premiership), because potentially, those teams play at least 3 times per season. And as with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, the Big Two are global brands, that each haul in north of 400 million in annual revenue. Market the clubs, market the team, and not just in Spain.

As for the caveats, let’s not be silly enough to think that 25-30 million is going to help Sociedad compete with us. That still isn’t one David Villa. But it will help them get a better class of player, which means they won’t be quite so dire, which helps the show. And make no mistake, even if Malaga tomorrow found out a way to generate 500 million in revenue, getting players to come would still be an issue, because ask anyone if they’d rather play for Barca or EE or Malaga, and stand back …. players can run pretty fast in the face of a no-brainer.

But a little team can also pay its star to stay home, rather than migrating to some mid-table side in the Premiership that can pay him more money. A million or two can keep a player home, and having a larger chunk of the TV pie is an excellent way to bring that about. So to me, having a more equitable TV deal makes sense, and we can’t lose in the deal, whether we make even more money, or the show gets better. But without real steps to improve the spectacle that is La Liga, aside from the crushing debt too many teams are wrestling with, the league is going to be in real trouble. Right now, teams are thinking that acquiring debt to acquire players is the only option they have to at least have a shot at not being beaten like a rented mule on the weekend. Sevilla is at present, the only club whose income is significantly greater than its debt. And that, ladies and gents, is no way to run a collective railroad.

Ready …. set …. discuss!

P.S. Among the best work on the Web on this matter is over here. It’s Monchi’s Men, a Sevilla blog that, because Del Nido is the face of egalitarianism as well as the Sevilla president, they have a big interest in the matter and do great work. Big shout-out.

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Whatever
    September 3, 2011

    You should post more often, man.

  2. September 3, 2011

    MonchisMen appreciates the kind words – especially the take on the current topic. We like to think that MM is filled with only 8% of Del Nido’s rage from the collective rage distribution among Sevilla blogs, so all are welcome to stop by and comment without fear of headbutts.

    Does the €140M ivory tower ever get claustrophobic? We rather like our condo down here. : )

    • Vj
      September 3, 2011

      It does. Especially if the view involves Mordor and the eye of Sauron (which better watch out for Mou)..

      • mom4
        September 3, 2011

        We’re the good guys, Vj. We’ll be watching from atop Minas Tirith. Mou watches from Real Mordor with the lidless eye. He has a thing for eyes…

    • mom4
      September 3, 2011

      @rrnchrmbrs- Hiya and welcome.

      Btw, gonna be at Sevilla v Betis derby. Will be rooting for the home team 🙂

      So do vacationing people who’d like to buy tickets to see a team play. “Oh, it will be some number of days before or after the actual day, we think.” Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      Amen, Kxevin.
      Try telling the travel agent, “Don’t schedule too much on our first weekend because we don’t know when the Barca game will be. And oh yeah, can the tapas tour be moved if the Sevilla game happens to be on a Saturday night?” 😈
      As an aside, we managed to salvage our strike-ruined travel plans by switching weeks (Catalunya first, Andalucia second rather than vice-versa). 🙂 But due to non-refundable plane tickets, the extra flights involved are costing us aroung $500 more dollars 🙁

  3. Triplo Volanti (formerly Cesc Pistol)
    September 3, 2011

    Discussed this at some length at monchismen’s blog:

    Definitely worth a read.

    I’ll repost here:
    *Note: EE refers to Madrid AND Barca.

    Well other things to note in this discussion are that traditional powers other than EE, namely Valencia and Atleti, don’t fully agree with the second proposal as well. Obviously because it is in their benefit to agree with the model proposed by EE. Again I’d like to remind you guys that the collective bargaining idea was abandoned not because of EE but clubs lead by Valencia and Atleti (and Depor then I think) Everyone suffers because they couldn’t compete with EE, who benefited from the idea proposed by others.

    But one thing I guess has failed to come across from my side in all this discussion is that I want there to be a more equal sharing of revenue.

    One, because in part of how it will help top 6-8 clubs be more competitive and keep their players and not lose them to EPL which makes La Liga look bad and hence reduces the merit in winning it to an extent.

    And two because the smaller clubs in the bottom half of the table are not sustainable with the current revenues.

    My apprehension comes from the fact that most of the top 6-8 clubs do little to promote themselves, which is evident in their fan base both in Spain and abroad. They are barely accessible to foreign fanbases as I’m sure you guys have faced with Sevilla and fans of Atleti, Villareal and Valencia have been facing for the last decade. This has been so very poor that if I remember correctly just a few years back their official sites were not even in English. Then is the matter of tours etc. And then promoting them in countries whose star players you have in your team. Neither have they tried to go for the better Asian players who are at a similar level to their current squad but will bring in better TV audiences and shirt/merchandise sales. The fact that some of these teams find it hard to get shirt sponsors is a direct example of how they are not competitive enough in their branding and promotions (which will always be negotiated separately)

    And these are just the issues where they haven’t tried hard enough to get more revenues. Financial mismanagement and generally poor management overall speaks volumes for clubs like Atleti and Valencia. Who with decent enough management would be competing with EE even today. Atleti is infamous for its mismanagement so I won’t go in detail but one can see that if Valencia were not so poorly managed they wouldn’t be under massive debt and forced to sell their three main players (Mata, Silva and Villa)

    Villareal, Sevilla and to their own limits Bilbao have shown better management than those two and it is a reason why they compete at a similar level despite the “next two’s” advantages financially.

    I say, if you can’t fight on the equal sharing of revenues atleast fight on equal visibility. Have your games shown every weekend throughout the world, play good football develop a fanbase and get better revenues from sponsors. After your fanbase develops you can negotiate a better deal.

    As I said before this is being lazy and riding on EE’s coat-tails. Sure riding on the coat-tails is fine but you can be pro-active about other areas.

    Like Aaron, I’m being “Realistic”. You aren’t going to get what you want, there has to be a compromise. Do you part in other revenue aspects well (which by the way EE does better than all the other 18 teams and Madrid better than Barca) because that is your best hope.

    Realistically, what with EE suffering lesser revenues due to the incompetence of RFEF what with late kickoffs and late announcement of kickoff times etc. their access to foreign markets is limited and hence growth of revenue and coupled with financial fair play into the picture they will fight to the death for every euro.

    And even if they agree to the other plan, it does not come into effect till 2014 and till then everyone can cry ‘ligajusta’ and ‘ligademeirda’ and Scottish league all they want because EE will still be the best in Europe while the rest of La Liga will be considered even less. So there goes your new fans and sponsors.

    That’s my take on the matter and yes, we’ve discussed it enough but I just wanted to make it doubly clear that while I do want a more equitable revenue sharing, I also want responsibility from the other clubs and the FA. All this while yes as hypocritical as it sounds your best bet is to manage better than EE.

    If clubs like Lyon, Porto and Ajax have to do it why are you so special?

    • Triplo Volanti (formerly Cesc Pistol)
      September 3, 2011

      And here’s where the discussion started:

      Rather than just making hue and cry over things being unfair I wish the other teams would go and make a strong offer to EE in which they would see their benefit as well. We all know the situation in La Liga is very poor, mis-management abounds, there aren’t proper regulations and even many of the rules that are in place are rarely enforced. Scandals and charges of corruption/bribing/match-fixing are pushed under the carpet. Marketing of Brand “La Liga” is horrendous, the media and TV coverage scant, the timing of the games scandalous and it’s announcement mere weeks before even worse. If the other clubs are truly committed to change then it must be radical, it must allow the EE an opportunity to grow even more and for that sacrifice a portion of it’s revenue for the good of the league.

      La Liga is the only one behind in revamping itself. The Bundesliga thrives on it’s local market, stadium revenues while the EPL is a Marketing behemoth that has revolutionised TV & media coverage for football. La Liga has the opportunity to take the best of all systems and truly become the best league in the world. I have no doubt that the quality of football on offer is of the level and it only needs to be accessible and the viewing public educated beyond the kick and rush football of headless-chicken athletes hoofing the ball around the pitch.

      If I was incharge of Barcelona and negotiating on the TV deal, I wouldn’t budge unless I could see how it would help me. If I reduce my share of the pie I would like all of us to be eating a bigger pie so atleast I eat as much as I did and have the potential for more. So while in concept, I recognise that La Liga should have better revenue, I completely side with my club when they disagree to terms which have no upside for them.

      As in the real world, you might think poverty is sad and income should be better distributed by the govt. you don’t just go around donating a major chunk your income willy nilly. Because that’s just stupid and doesn’t make business sense.

      And that’s what I was saying in the first post: come up with an offer that makes business sense to the big teams so that they don’t mind giving up their share too much.

    • Triplo Volanti (formerly Cesc Pistol)
      September 3, 2011

      And on how La Liga has potential to get more revenue for all:


      But the thing to realise is that there is much, much more revenue to be earned.

      a) I’m sure you would not disagree that the quality of football in general is better than in EPL.

      b) The coverage of games is abysmal. Horribly uninformed, those with a EPL bias, not as entertaining, presenters for Liga games esp. in English.

      c) Supporting programs are non-existant or of rather poor quality. Revista La Liga is the only decent program I know of on La Liga.

      d) Timing of games does not suit so many markets. Almost all of the Asian market specially.

      e) The time of matches is announced days before. Everything is rather disorganised.

      f) Financial prudence, wise spending and doing so within means is not promoted and on the flip side those going bankrupt are not punished.

      g) This league has a huge chunk of the best and most talented players playing for it.

      and many more issues would be addressed which could increase La Liga’s revenues by 200-300 million. Which could lead to better sponsorship deals for every club. Additionally it could cause more influx of capital by buyers on smaller clubs. The potential is huge but it has to be leveraged correctly. To simply negotiate hard with EE and get a chunk of their revenue and do nothing else is incredibly myopic. THATS WHAT IM SAYING. Bundesliga did it, EPL did it. Why not us?

    • Triplo Volanti (formerly Cesc Pistol)
      September 3, 2011

      Just as a final note I’d like to state that if Valencia and Atleti were better managed we wouldn’t even be having this discussion as they would’ve cemented as the top four and be regulars in the CL. Which would’ve boosted their bargaining power and got them much, much better deals.

      (Ofcourse the smaller clubs would still be suffering and hell, when does the media ever care about them #spanishmediasucks)

      And no matter what deal is finally struck, can I please get to watch Villareal and Sporting more? Please?

  4. jsfrancis
    September 3, 2011

    I’m interested to see which club is the first this season to protest by sending a squad to Barca/Madrid consisting of reserves/youth or even more pointedly, fans who won some style of contest. Granted, I’d watch that the first time out of morbid curiosity, but I think it’d be the most effective manner to show the big two clubs how much they need the others to “compete” with.

  5. September 3, 2011

    Wow, thanks for the shout-out, Kxevin. Really appreciate it.

    I imagine you already know this and were speaking in generalities for the sake of simplicity, but Del Nido is not proposing 20 equal cuts of TV revenue–to my knowledge no one with any say in the matter is. Rather, Del Nido and the other rogue clubs (Roig from Villarreal in particular deserves credit for adding his eloquent voice to the debate in the past 6-9 months) are proposing a more complex distribution that would see everyone get an equal piece of 40% of total revenue, and then the remainder would be sorted out based on audience, results, etc.

    LigaJusta, which is a fantastic resource if you’re interested and can read Spanish, has a chart and description outlining the differences between the Barca/RM proposal and that of the so-called “G-8”: The post is about a year old now, and the graph is based on the projected 900 million number Kxevin mentioned as well.

    @jsfrancis: some of the G-8 clubs HAVE been talking about a strike or “boycott” in the last week or so. I would love to see your idea happen (I’ve been wishing for something similar for about a year now), but I think the reality is that soon it won’t be necessary–how many people could possibly have been watching you guys bludgeon Villarreal after 60′ last week? The EE teams will get their wishes–decreased competition for winning titles, loads of money, etc–but at some point people will simply stop watching (other than you guys, of course). Or to say it another way, after RM and Barca buy up the rest of La Liga to sit on their bench, the EE literally WILL be playing against B teams–fans from the stands may well be what comes next. I was personally much more likely to watch Barca 2-3 years ago, but am doing so less and less every year–it turns out I’d rather watch an actual game than see 22 people perform an interpretive dance of a math equation like $$$$$$$$$ > ¢.

    • September 3, 2011

      Was indeed striving to simplify, but probably oversimplified. And my pleasure for the shout-out. It’s always nice to recognize folks doing good work, amid all the junk on the Web.

      I think that anyone who loves the game and the Liga should be bothered by our half-speed drubbing of Villarreal. The 4th-placed team in the Liga shouldn’t take a whipping like that. Yes, I enjoyed it as a cule, but not as a thinking cule. The only folks who want to watch matches like that are the fans of the club doing the spanking. Much more to my tastes are the matches like when you all drew us last season, with Kanoute coming on to make the difference. That was an amazing match, and more to my taste, even if the result wasn’t what I would have liked.

  6. Culer in Ottawa
    September 3, 2011

    Hi Kxevin,

    I registered a while ago but I’m not a frequent contributor. Thank you for this post. I totally agree with your take on del Nido’s argument. While FC Barcelona would cease to be leading financial player in the market with marquee signings, it would allow fellow La Liga clubs to groom youth hopefuls without the fear (read: inevitability) of losing them to the Big Two. If there is a premium placed on Spanish football, then this must happen. Otherwise, we may as well begin the talks of a European super league of 18 or 20 and treat La Liga (and the other domestic leagues) as lower-tier. By the way, I realize that you probably don’t have the time anymore but I truly miss your reviews. Your writing exudes such a perfect mix of confidence, concision and eloquence, without overdoing it. Anyways, hope all is well and thanks for sticking around the BFB community.


    • September 3, 2011

      Shows how much you know, James. Jose (below) just said my analysis was stupid. 😀

      Welcome, and do “speak” more. What’s interesting is that I don’t think TV revenue sharing will affect our ability to play in the marquee signing realm one iota, particularly if you consider that we’re getting less of a bigger chunk of a pie, resulting in more money than we could negotiate for ourselves. I think that with real revenue sharing, everyone can win.

      Thanks for the review comments. Euler does such a brilliant job at them that I tremble at putting fingers to keyboard ever again. 😀 Besides, spaces thrive on new blood, like vampires (sorta). Isaiah just got married, I’m chasing my bike racing dreams again, and this leaves room for other folks, who are every bit (if not more) enjoyable.

      I’ll still be doing the occasional review, so you all won’t be completely rid of me, however.

  7. September 3, 2011

    Disappointingly non-quantitative piece here, Kxev. While I agree with the general sentiment, the specifics are oversimplified to the point of being stupid. It’s easy to sit here in and talk about what should be done without actually thinking about what can feasibly be done. I would love to comment extensively, but I am on vacation for Labor Day weekend with onl my phone.

    Also, good shoutou to MM. If you want to read a sevillista (albeit adorably naive) take on the tv rights deal, it is a good place to go. Just ignore their recent post where they personally mock your words (from the Fabregas piece)… it gets kinda whiny.

    • September 3, 2011

      It’s an overview, and the solutions are simple: shared TV revenue, market the Liga and clean up its image by cracking down on diving/sham play. Voila. All of this can feasibly be done, starting tomorrow if the idiots who run the Liga were so inclined.

      And as you know, I don’t do “quantititative.” No point to it. Beauty is rarely in the details. And your “stupid” comment reminds me why my posting here has been minimized. So thanks for that.

      This post is a point of discussion. The end. Perhaps there are other places where you can get what you crave. It doesn’t bother me if anyone mocks my words. Words aren’t at all sacred, whether attached to opinions or not.

      P.S. For everyone’s information, it’s KxeVIN, or KeVIN, if you prefer. I hate “Kev,” and all its variants.

      • September 6, 2011

        All of this can feasibly be done, starting tomorrow if the idiots who run the Liga were so inclined.

        But it won’t, because idiots run La Liga. As Sid Lowe noted after meeting with La Liga directors, these are fools that have stumbled upon a great product, one built by the clubs and their canteras and then mismanaged by the folks who in the last 20 years have found themselves running the LFP. And that’s why this analysis is not very useful, nor is any analysis that doesn’t ground itself to feasible ways how it could be changed. We can sit here all year, commenting on what “should” happen, or we can discuss what moves could happen.

        RM and Barca have a very good bargaining position when it comes to this discussion: the specter of them simply walking out of any negotiation looms large. The only counterweight the other teams of La Liga can offer is threatening to walk out on the league entirely, which is a mostly empty threat at the moment.

        Thus months ago, the new TV deal was discussed, and the RM-Barca proposal was passed by a majority of clubs. The dissenting opinions came mainly from the commonly 5-10th placed teams in the league (Sevilla, Bilbao, Villareal, etc.), the clubs who are really looking to lose out. Compare the distributions proposed by Sevilla and those proposed by RM-Barca and you’ll see why Sevilla got completely outmaneuvered. For the 11-20th teams, the difference between the TV deals is quite small, especially when compared to what they currently make. (With this new TV deal, the bottom half of La Liga’s TV revenue is expected to almost double.) And how to make sure that not all the “second tier” clubs gang up against RM and Barca? Well, by offering Valencia and Atletico Madrid a fixed and secure share of the TV revenue that is much larger than their immediate competitors’.

        So the problem is what is going to happen to the 5th to 10th clubs of La Liga, who are the real losers of this new deal (which is why Del Nido and company are screaming bloody murder). But what can 6 clubs do against a deal approved by the other 14 clubs of La Liga? Their bargaining position is weak at this point. Sitting here and saying that it isn’t fair is not going to magically improve the Group of Six’s bargaining position, nor are RM and Barcelona going to acquiesce to their demands over night.

        So let’s talk about what could actually happen. Moves like organizing 15 clubs to negotiate a collective deal for next season is exactly what Del Nido should be doing. It is, I believe, a masterstroke on his part and the first step in improving their bargaining position against RM-Barca (which I hope succeeds). . That’s the sort of discussion that is compelling.

        And as you know, I don’t do “quantititative.” No point to it. Beauty is rarely in the details.

        But this is precisely the type of situation where the truth lies in the details. Perhaps it is a difference between being trained as an engineer and a journalist, but this disregard for quantitative analysis is one of the most disappointing trends I’ve noticed these days.

        Perhaps there are other places where you can get what you crave.

        I don’t know what you mean to imply by that. Please clear that up.

        And your “stupid” comment reminds me why my posting here has been minimized. So thanks for that. […] It doesn’t bother me if anyone mocks my words. Words aren’t at all sacred, whether attached to opinions or not.

        Well… it’s one or the other, isn’t it? You either take personal offense to criticisms of your work, or you don’t. Either way, it does seem like I have offended you personally in this matter, Kxevin, and for that I apologize.

  8. Dani_el
    September 3, 2011

    Thank you for posting Kxevin. Though I agree with your argument, I wonder, in my country each club negotiates a tv deal for itself, I know it sounds biased and unfair, but what would happen if Barcelona and EE do just that?

    • September 3, 2011

      That is the current reality. What would happen is what we have now: a league of 2 contenders and 18 pieces of ballast.

      • Dani_el
        September 3, 2011

        Here’s a pretty good argument about this subject…

        Any decrease in broadcasting revenue would ensure that the best English clubs had the financial power, and ultimately, this would provide success on the European stage.
        This success would strengthen England’s world-best UEFA co-efficient; and negatively affect the Spanish one. This could lead to less UEFA Champions League places for La Liga, and the gap would be lessened in Spain, but a new gap would be created between Spain and England. Making the Spanish FA choose between a competitive league, and European success would be foolhardy.
        While drastic, this collective deal could affect Spain’s co-efficient, and destroying the league’s foreign marketability by forgoing quality challengers for quantity will reduce potential all-round income.

        • September 3, 2011

          I don’t see the UEFA coefficient as a strong argument against revenue sharing, but rather a good reason to do it SOON.

          Right now, RM and Barca get about double the TV revenue that the top-finishing team gets in the EPL. I can see that Barca/RM “only” getting 20-30 million more euros from TV revenue than the top EPL teams (or the same amount) would hurt compared to that kind of advantage, but surely you’d agree that the next 4 Liga teams are struggling much more because of their disadvantage relative to the teams they see in Champions and Europa. Ultimately, it is the failure of those Liga teams to succeed in Europe that will cost Spain its coefficient.

          (Incidentally, I’ll take a better Liga over Spanish teams doing better in Europe any day. I realize I’m probably alone in that, but La Liga is my priority and what I want to see get stronger. But I don’t agree with the notion that the two are somehow mutually exclusive.)

          However, I definitely agree with your implied point that the financial advantage Barca has enjoyed has contributed heavily to their success in Spain and Europe, and that getting a more reasonable amount of revenue would likely lead to less success over time.

          • Dani_el
            September 3, 2011

            Reading about the other proposal even EE would get more money than Barça exacerbating their already enormous budget. Being a Barça fan I’m not objective, I see that in order to continue this cycle, we need the most beneficial deal we can get. And though I think the proposal is more fair for the other clubs, some of them as Atletico de Madrid have damaging legal issues and mismanagement, in that case I don’t think is a question of money, I believe even if they get more money they wont be able to compete in laliga with a management as awful as the one of Gil Marin and Enrique Cerezo.

  9. Eklavya
    September 3, 2011

    Always good to know, although can’t think of much to add.

  10. andrecito
    September 3, 2011

    yeah! a kxevin post! and thanks for turning us on to monchismen..i look forward to checking up on that blog in the future…i was a big capel fan when he first came out, but recently i haven’t seen him play he officially a bust, or what?

    but sadly, i’m with eklavya…i can hardly think about my own budget for more than 6 seconds, let alone ponder someone else’s billions..

    my question is–and sorry if this was (probably has) been covered… senor del nido and company actually blaming the state of the league on tv rights?? i mean there are so many ways a team gets money..

    merchandise…there are probably more messi jerseys sold then everybody else in la liga combined…

    and attendence..i just checked last years figures..after us and ee, the next team averaged 1/2 of what we do…the 10th place team averaged almost a 1/10 of what we do! that’s a difference of several million (insert currency) per game..multiply that by 20 games, then add all the champs league and copa games…the figure reaches 9 digits…thats not even counting the concessions!

    like it has been stated…not so many people tune in to levante vs sociedad…but half the world seems to tune in for el classico…so…should tv rights become some sort of charity? i dont know the answer to this, or how to fix it…but i say that we deserve the money that we get…the football is just to good to say that we don’t…

    not to be a jerk…but maybe senor del nido should look at his teams performance as a reason to why his cash flow isn’t flowing so much…i looked at last year’s stats to see what i could find…sevilla missed out on a champions league spot by only four points! that would have brought in some cash, right? upon digging a little further, i could see they dropped points against the 3 relegated teams 4 times! so 4 out of 6 games against relegated teams, sevilla dropped points…there’s your champions league spot right there…

    so…to sum it up..can’t wait for the next round of la liga games!

    • September 3, 2011

      Capel was sold this summer to Sporting Lisbon. Check our MM archives for a tribute if you’re more than mildly interested.

      On the subject of other ways of earning revenue, you hit on all the right points: merchandise, attendance and performance. Part of the reason we see the TV revenue as a catch-all solution for clubs that struggle is that it can directly help the clubs keep their players instead of selling them to one of the EE or to English clubs. Having your best players not jump ship directly affects attendance, merchandise and performance. What is going to inspire current Zaragoza fans (or potential new fans) to cheer for a club that has not a single player of interest on the team? Barcelona is a historic, rich and successful club, so this is as hypothetical as it gets, but what would attendance, merchandise and performance revenues look like without all those names on the back of the jerseys? Too hypothetical of a suggestion? Perhaps.

      Seeing that he fired Manzano, I think Del Nido did look at his team’s performance last season, but his insistence isn’t trying to excuse or cover for Sevilla’s past or current form (which hasn’t been excellent or necessarily deserving of CL in my opinion). He’s been saying these things for a few seasons, though – even when we were qualifying for CL, so it’s not a pout-fest. Seeing the present and growing disparity in this one significant area, Del Nido is voicing in a wilderness that is finally starting to perk up and look around. Hey, you gotta pick your battles and fight ’em with conviction. All of us at MM, for the record, really wish he would have also chosen the battle of getting us more than 2 serviceable strikers for the season. But it’s hard not to see his point when having that extra €10M from TV revenue sharing surely would have brought Gio (that striker we needed) to the team. Again, that is hypothetically speaking.

      These things should change, though! Not hypothetically! : )

  11. Ryan
    September 3, 2011

    Always great to see a Kxevin post!

    Even as a Barca-focused Liga watcher, I really wish the league could return to its old strength. Seeing Valencia, Depor, Sevilla, etc compete in Europe and do well reflects well on every Spanish team. It was so nice to see Atleti beat both Fulham and Inter to show some of Spain’s depth, but how many more similar instances will we have if we continue this dominant top-2 revenue structure?

  12. Lou
    September 3, 2011

    Thanks for the post Kxevin!

    I do agree that more needs to be done to equalize the televison revenue. However a straight even split of the money will never happen.

    I also have some concerns about a performance based payment structure. This is what they have in the Premier League and I think while it is more equitable it does lead to some issues.

    Most importantly, since every place in the table is worth so much money (the difference between three places in the table could be worth millions of dollars) that makes it hard for managers to justify blooding in youth players because any mistakes they make could cost the club financially.

    It also means that there can be more financial incentive to finish 10th rather than 13th in the League than to put much effort in to a Europa League campaign for example.

  13. Lou
    September 3, 2011

    Also I have to say that in terms of priorities I’m less concerned about the gap between Barcelona and Valencia than the gap between Barcelona and Sporting.

    Barcelona and Madrid are far ahead of Valencia and Villareal, but I suspect they are also far ahead of most other teams in Europe. Valencia, Villareal, Atletico (sometimes) and Sevilla have shown in recent years that they can compete in Europe. Whether it will stay that way is another matter I suppose.

    However, the smaller clubs that are teetering on the brink of insolvency are more concerning. Not only are they forced to run at a deficit, but this leads to larger clubs taking advantage by offering small sums of money for players because they know the clubs need cash. (For example see Barcelona’s 1.5 million Euro offer for Sporting’s starting left back and Spanish U21 player Jose Angel last summer).

    Whatever deal is agreed upon really needs to increase funds to clubs like Racing, Levante, Sporting and it needs to implement some kind of a parachute system so that relegated clubs are not forced into a financial collapse.

  14. September 4, 2011

    MonchisMen have been getting mentions all over! Last week from me and now from Kxevin? Surely, you can’t be greedy enough to ask for more TV rights?

    Brilliant as always, Kevin. I actually liked the simplicity over the whole subject. Both clubs will fight as hard as they can against this, and they will be taking it till the last stretch. It’s no longer a matter of fixing the situation, but rather doing less harm. The situation is already very crappy.

    • outerspacedout
      September 4, 2011

      This was quite a long time ago! Even before the UEFA Supercup against Porto.

  15. September 4, 2011

    I had this perfect dream
    Un sueno me envolvio
    This dream was me and you
    Tal vez estas aqui
    I want all the world to see
    Un instinto me guiaba
    A miracle sensation
    My guide and inspiration
    Now my dream is slowly coming true
    The wind is a gentle breeze
    El me hablo de ti
    The bells are ringing out
    El canto vuela
    Thery’re calling us together
    Guiding us forever
    Wish my dream would never go away


    It was the first time that we met


    Who knows the song is in the same wave with Freddy Mercury and football fans around the world.

    • nzm
      September 4, 2011

      It was actually written for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, and was to have been sung live at the opening ceremony by Freddie Mercury and the famous Catalonian opera singer, Montserrat Caballé.

      Sadly, Freddie died shortly before the games, and only a recording was heard at the ceremony.

      It’s a wonderful song, and was played during the entertainment segment on the Camp Nou pitch before the recent Gamper Trophy match against Napoli.

      • Vj
        September 4, 2011

        Actually, its rumoured that Freddie shape-shifted into Giuly and won us a CL..

    • Ryan
      September 4, 2011

      The song’s often played at the palace fountains on Montjuic too.

  16. barca96
    September 4, 2011

    Crap I was hectored.

    Didn’t watch the friendly but I have a question to those that did watch it.

    Why was Busi particularly going for the #19 Chilean player? He didn’t even touch anyone!! He was just walking about as Iniesta was squaring off (not cool of him) #8 and all of a sudden Busi targeted #19.

    Did #19 do something to Busi that made Busi just want to have his moment?

  17. barca96
    September 4, 2011

    Seriously, it’s time for the G14 or whatever it’s called. They have been planning it for over 10 years now. Now is really the best time to get the top 4-5 from EPL, top 4-5 from Spain and France, Germany, Italy and voila.

  18. ak
    September 4, 2011

    Could anyone please post the links to the Spain-Chile game?
    Pakman hasn’t done it until now, so i take it he’s not planning to. I really wanna see the Iniesta magic.
    If there’s a condensed highlight version, that would be even better.

  19. K_legit
    September 4, 2011

    today, for a variety of reasons, the little project comes to an end. for now, we’ll only continue with the countdown and the quiz
    From @barcastuff


    • Roz
      September 4, 2011

      Exact same reaction from me. Those of you with Twitter, wana start a #bringbarcastuffback campaign?

      • K_legit
        September 4, 2011

        The last time pep decided to stop something, it got converted to totalbarca and the barcastuff twitter account!

    • blitzen
      September 4, 2011

      No more @barcastuff? That account was my main reason for signing up for twitter.

      No me gusta! 👿

      • Vj
        September 4, 2011

        You’re overdoing that smiley. Yes, this is coming from an Indian.

        You have to realize, working 24/7 like @barcastuff did, takes its toll. That guy is a machine. He feels this project has run its course with all the other news-hubs propping up. Gotta respect that.

        Rumour is that he was inspired to do all this for his real life love. Gotta be one special person..

      • blitzen
        September 5, 2011

        What on earth does you being Indian have to do with the price of sugar?

    • mom4
      September 4, 2011

      Thanks barcastuff for your devoted service to the cule community.

      We’re gonna miss you 🙁

  20. blitzen
    September 4, 2011

    Bartomeu: “Cesc’s real price would be 60M. But he said he only wanted to join Barça. Then the market price doesn’t matter anymore.” [sport]

    Bartomeu…you’re not helping. *facepalm*

    Sorry, Gooners.

  21. Whatever
    September 4, 2011

    @barcastuff is no more. Very sad.

    Is there anything similar on the horizon?

    • mei
      September 4, 2011

      Seems like he is peeved about something.
      Theres nothing like barcastuff out there so we’d better express our appreciation and ask the guys that manage the twitter account to reconsider.

      • Whatever
        September 4, 2011

        It’s just one guy. I’ve known him for a long time. But knowing him, he won’t reconsider…

        • The__K__Man
          September 4, 2011

          what do you mean know him? as in personally? I can only wonder how that guy’s life is tweeting around the clock!

          • Whatever
            September 4, 2011

            Not personally, but we chatted online a lot in the past when he used to own the FCBTransfers blog. A great guy from Belgium.

        • Helge
          September 4, 2011

          But why is he / are they tweeting in plural?
          We accidentally started a little project

          I don’t think a single person can tweet as frequently as happened on that site…
          Anyway, it’s very sad to hear about the end of @barcastuff 🙁

          • Whatever
            September 4, 2011

            Because it sounds more professional.

    • The__K__Man
      September 4, 2011

      there are a lot of accounts about Barca but nothing comes close and most others I follow are in Spanish!

      • can_we_go_Xalvies
        September 4, 2011

        I remember he tried to stop a while ago, but he obviously got back into it.

        This guy tweets at least every hour round the clock, which is daunting on his part, I;d understand why he would want to slow it down.

        Not only is this guy a good source of Barca news. He is probably the most trustworthy source for Barca on the Net, nothing else comes close, a haven for non-spanish speaking fans.

        So where else can we get Barca news? I know there is ‘total Barca’ but there has to be others.

        • mei
          September 4, 2011

          He didnt say something about getting tired or having more time though.

          He said that he launched a project with some ideas that later on were taken by others , so you can find what he’s doing elsewhere!

          Don’t know anywhere reporting news like this guy

        • Calvin
          September 4, 2011

          I imagine this space will endeavor to fill a little bit of the space he leaves. We’ve always been more focused on providing good analysis and opinion pieces, but I have a feeling we will begin to skew a bit more towards providing more news stories.

          As always the comments here are a great place to find up-to-date news, even if it isn’t in a new post. (ok, I’ll end the shameless self plug).

  22. mei
    September 4, 2011

    I hope he reconsiders. Anyway no matter the decision , everytime he ended something till now he came back with something better , so lets hope that’s not the end to his service to the FCB community!

    • blitzen
      September 4, 2011

      At the very least I hope someone else takes on the job of tweeting translations of the press conferences. I rely on those a lot.

      I also enjoy the translations of the players’ tweets, although that is much less important. 🙂

  23. Calvin
    September 4, 2011

    Losing barcastuff is a huge blow to the community. He is consistently awesome and he is always at the front line with his news. He may say otherwise, but there is no one on the web who provides a service quite like him.

    • K_legit
      September 4, 2011

      Well the good thing is that he is not stopping completely, he is till going to do the countdown and the quiz although its not much it is still something

      • Calvin
        September 4, 2011

        This may come across as crass, but I really don’t care about the countdown. With my extremely busy schedule I usually have to plan around the games, so they are in my calendar usually a week ahead of time (for Liga games that is, the champions league games are all already in).

        The quiz is nice as it provides a nice source of Barcelona trivia, but I’ve never played it myself.

        I’m not trying to downplay these aspects of his work, as they are obviously important for a lot of people, but for me the real draw of barcastuff was the cutting edge news. He was often the first English source with injury information and lineups, and he seemed to always have some inside knowledge of transfer situations. He also had translated press conference quotes before any other English source I know about. These are the aspects I’m really going to miss.

        • blitzen
          September 4, 2011

          Yeah, no disrespect, but I can do without the quiz, the countdown, and the neverending transfer speculations and links to rubbish news articles that take up the bulk of his timeline. The important bits for me are the press conferences, injury updates, game lineups and nuggets of insider info you can’t find anywhere else.

          *sigh* How dare he go off and have a life???

          • The__K__Man
            September 4, 2011

            Chill out! He was just a messenger and tweeting what the press says in general not making anything up!

          • blitzen
            September 5, 2011

            ??? I never said he made anything up, I just said I didn’t need to read every silly transfer rumour.

        • K_legit
          September 4, 2011

          I actually agree to a large extent, although I am a fan of the countdown as it has helped me a lot in not missing the games..I am horrible with time zone conversion! 😀

        • Whatever
          September 4, 2011

          You are right, but those things that he will no longer do were the most time-consuming and the hardest. He’ll continue doing the easy stuff like the countdown and the quiz.

          I really don’t blame him for that. We took @barcastuff for granted… while he was working his ass off.

          • Calvin
            September 4, 2011

            No doubt. It’s sad to see him go, but at the same time I appreciate all the hard work he’s done over the past year.

            I thanked him through twitter, which was only my second action on twitter ever (the first was to vote for him in the twitter awards). I suggest everyone do the same if you have a spare minute or two. He certainly deserves the thanks.

  24. September 4, 2011

    Anyone who’s on Twitter should pop over and pay @barcastuff some love. As with the shutdown of, someone will step in to fill the void. But Pep did a metric shit ton of work, for free. As with blogging, nobody is paying folks to do this stuff. It’s done usually out of love, for a team or project, or because someone feels that a need isn’t being met.

    But at some point, it comes time to bring down the curtain. He had a great run, and deserves the best wishes of one and all.

    –An interesting piece in the Guardian on Arsene Wenger. Many, many, Guardiola parallels:

    Also, Jack Wilshere will be out for 2-3 months. Big blow for them. You wonder about their physios over there. When players keep breaking, it goes from bad luck to something not being done, in my opinion.

    • Dani_el
      September 4, 2011

      Thanks for sharing the article, it was an interesting read.
      Being a visionary and staying true to his way of wanting to play beautifully, that’s where the I think the resemblance with Pep stops. Not being able to recognize his players fouls and his own mistakes, well..
      I believe Pep’s humility it’s a must on the current culture of our club. And still he has Vilanova at his side, discusing ways of giving us the edge the entire game. When I saw Wenger on the 8-2 game, I saw him alone and shocked of the result. I believe we need bright discussion to improve ourselves, and somewhere I read that Pep loves a good football talk as Sacchi.

  25. Olufestus
    September 4, 2011

    Nooooo…..@barcastuff,thats the best thing after sliced bread!!!!!

    • K_legit
      September 4, 2011

      Sliced bread is overrated..especially if said sliced bread is white bread in which case it is tripe!

  26. jordi™
    September 4, 2011

    Grimaldo is amazing,at his age(15) he should be a cadet yet he handled the second division with ease. I’ve never seen anything like it. The winger on his side today was 30 8)

    • September 4, 2011

      I wanted to Liveblog that game. 🙁

      But yeah, amazing. He owned seasoned pros like it was nothing. Rafinha scored some golazos, Espinosa started, and they were Carmona-less for the majority of the game. Bad game to sleep in…

      • barca96
        September 5, 2011

        Which match are you guys talking about?
        No barcastuff=less info on the other teams 🙁

        • barca96
          September 5, 2011

          Is it the Barca B match that JNice posted?

  27. Vj
    September 4, 2011

    When this cycle started, when this era began, I’ve always associated two ‘Pep’s with FCB. There are times since, I’ve felt like a culé, born of those two Peps. I’ve felt at times that both are one and the same, so similar are their characteristics – their commitment, attitude and persona. Both have touched so many of us in so different ways.

    So when one of them feels that he’s completed what he set out to do, given all that he has accomplished, it seems frightening that this what the other one may be feeling somewhere down the line. Powerless though I may be, I won’t forget to treasure the wonderful moments I’ve witnessed as a result of their work. Though I’m going to miss them, I’ll wish Good luck, and Good bye..

    • Eklavya
      September 4, 2011

      Aren’t they both the same person?

      • Whatever
        September 4, 2011

        Pep == FCBTransfers == Barcastuff. So yes, they are. 🙂

    • Aeneas
      September 4, 2011

      Definitely a sad day. We had some good times with Pep, VJ.

  28. Eklavya
    September 4, 2011

    The next best news source after barcastuff is @BarcaTheOffside, IMO.

  29. ciaran
    September 4, 2011

    The highlights of the B teams match v Cartagena were very impressive.
    Deulofeu’s contribtution was impressive and Rafinha scored a great goal.

  30. September 4, 2011

    Ooh, sad day indeed.. Bye barcastuff… You’ve done great!

    OT: Anyway, so happy for the Bbs.. 4-0. Kiko scored, and Rafinha wad amazing…
    And was Grimaldo really just 15?? Wow!!
    Ooh, could we please do a short post about the Bbs win? That would be really nice.. (Though I’d understand if most of you guys are busy… Thought we’d be covering em more this season)

  31. kinukinu
    September 4, 2011

    Maybe a BFB tribute to barcastuff is in order? Or maybe we take a collection and petition for him to stay?

  32. mei
    September 4, 2011

    Picking it off pep’s twitter account withdrawal it amazes me that the club has not hired a person to do exactly this job.

    There are many people , that are not fluent in Spanish and follow the club passionately.
    For them (for us!) its such a treat when they are able to hear what the coach , the directors , players have to say little after it happens and generally news about the club.

    FC Barcelona seemed eager to take advantage of social media – like facebook- but its only restrained to what the official site posts most of the time.
    Which is pretty pointless , each service should deliver according to its strengths . Official site, facebook page and twitter account have very different uses and the club has not done much to take advantage of them. Instead it just linked them altogether.

    • Ryan
      September 5, 2011

      Good point, and it seems like it was Pep’s full time job, albeit one without pay. Why not just hire the guy, especially considering that non-Spanish audiences are the best avenue for future growth?

  33. barca96
    September 5, 2011

    What a sad day.

    I dare say that Pep (barcastuff) has helped promote Barca as in getting in more fans. Of course I don’t have numbers to back it up but Im pretty sure there are more Barca fans now thanks to his work.

    I concur with VJ. I also at times think that they’re the same person.

    I was a follower of Pep since FCBTransfers and then with his blessing I followed totalbarca and then his own elections blog and of course barcastuff. What a great guy!

    Another legend that could stop in the near future is Allas.

    Barca should give both of them a life long season’s tickets!
    We should make a post.

  34. Rao
    September 5, 2011

    Off topic but I heard that all the socis have signed a petition to reconsider the deal with Qatar Foundation shirt sponsership.I have read it from a not-so-reliable source(re: but there’s no information on the club’s official website or anywhere else.Can someone confirm this?.

  35. Lev
    September 5, 2011

    What? Allas might stop? That would be a sad day indeed. You can always get the latest Barça news from somewhere, personally I don’t mind getting it 12-24 hours later or reading bout it on BfB or totalbarça or whatever…However Allas’ videos are AWESOME! Only person who could step in his shoes is Clivee (yeah, don’t think I have forgotten about your Abidal video, brother!)

    • Eklavya
      September 5, 2011

      Allas stopping his videos was just hypothetical, I think.

  36. September 5, 2011

    So…I posted a season review I wrote months ago. You can move over there if you want.

  37. September 5, 2011

    Hey I have followed this discussion for the last couple of days. Great stuff. I am a villarreal fan as my nick suggests :-). I have posted the full english transcript of Fernando Roig’s interview with Cope Radio on Aug 31sth. he made some great points and he definitely doesnt want a system like how they divvy up TV in EPL. Give it a read and let me know what do you think.
    I have also posted background info & fact checks to the best of my knowledge & what I could gather.

    Thanks for reading.

  38. can_we_go_Xalvies
    September 5, 2011

    Thank you for the translation aupasubmarino, I have seen you on twitter, really like the villarreal podcast’s you post about.

    The interview is very interesting, it reveals a lot about how La liga is run. I also agree with his point about how we shouldn’t follow the same structure as the EPL. Even with a very even distribution of money there are still clubs in the english leagues that end up in debt and financial problems. I believe that by only giving more money to the smaller clubs in La liga will encourage them to spend more and save less, and potentially put them into more debt. I believe we must install some kind of rewards payment structure. We shouldn’t just reward clubs that improve sporting wise, but also those that improve business wise, if a club continues to ride on administration then they shouldn’t benefit at all from the TV revenue.

    • September 5, 2011

      Thanks for the kind words can_we_go_Xalvies!

      Yeah Roig talks about a reward based structure so the teams that finish higher get more money to spend. If they clean up Ley Concursal and actually enforce all the rules like debarring teams from Europe if their books are not in order (not forced by UEFA but by Liga themselves), it would help the situation a lot.

      I dont see much hope in the short-term though. I think we need 10 Roigs to bulldoze through the mess and clean this up.

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