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Real And Barca The New Rangers And Celtc


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If the English and Germans don't want to set up a league with them...

The former Real Madrid general manager Jorge Valdano claimed last week that Spain's big two are reaching a crossroads. Soon, he said, Barcelona and Real Madrid will find themselves in a situation in which they have little choice but to seek out new challenges elsewhere, leaving La Liga behind for a European league.

It is a subject that was in the background when the European Club Association met in Geneva on Tuesday but, as Valdano admitted, while Madrid and Barcelona would welcome such a move, rather more questionable is whether Europe's other big teams will have the same enthusiasm for leaving domestic competition behind.

"With every passing day there is a greater gap between the two greats and the rest of the league in Spain," Valdano said. "You look ahead and the sensation is that this situation will only get worse. There will come a time when this [situation] does not suit the big two either. In the future Madrid and Barcelona will have to look at teams that travel at the same speed as them and that will lead to a European league.

"There are two teams whose market is the whole world and the rest whose market is just their [regional] community. We are in a moment of transformation, which depends on what happens in Spain and in other leagues. The problem is that the Premier League works, Germany works: there is a lot of money there and a lot of passion for [domestic] football. They do not seem especially enthusiastic about leaving their leagues."

The fact that Valdano was asked about the future of La Liga illustrated the extent to which inequality is now definitively, if belatedly, on the agenda in Spain – reflected by an opening weekend which was met with dread as much as delight after Real Madrid defeated Real Zaragoza 6-0 and Barcelona beat Villarreal 5-0. The president of Sevilla, José María Del Nido, described the Spanish league as "rubbish – the greatest pile of junk in Europe".

In answering as he did, Valdano revealed an essential truth. He also revealed a sleight of hand, portraying Spain's big two as innocent victims of a league that simply cannot compete with them, rather than perpetrators of an inequality that threatens to destroy it. He also hinted at the threat that forever hovers in the background: the departure from La Liga of Madrid and Barcelona. It is a threat that, for now at least, suits no one but is used as a weapon on both sides of the divide.

There will come a time when the situation in La Liga does not suit the big two. But if so, Real Madrid have been complicit in that – either blind to the consequences of their actions or all too aware of them and thus deliberately destructive in their approach.

Last season Valencia, in third, finished 21 points behind second-placed Madrid – and that was an improvement on the previous year. Third place was closer to relegation than the title. Over the past two seasons, both Madrid and Barcelona have smashed previous records for points totals. It is not that one of them will win the league so much as the fact that it is hard to see them failing to win many games. A season in which both teams are not beaten once, in which the opposition does not even try, is not so far away.

Underpinning that dominance is the distribution of TV money. Deals are struck individually. Madrid and Barcelona each make €135m (£118m) a year on domestic rights alone. Valencia make €48m, Atlético €46m and Sevilla €31m. Racing Santander make €13m, less than a tenth of the top two.

Madrid and Barcelona have long resisted calls for more equality on the grounds that they generate the vast majority of the money in a country where 60% declare themselves as fans of one of the big two and where the media are divided down the middle, supporting Madrid or Barcelona and largely ignoring the rest. A new proposal is on the table under which a collective deal will be drawn up but the inequality will be enshrined, with Madrid and Barcelona getting 35% of the money to themselves.

One of the reasons that Sevilla and Villarreal have been so outspoken about the new plan is not so much that they see Madrid and Barcelona get further away but that they have been manoeuvred into fifth and sixth place rather than the third and fourth to which they aspired. Other clubs have given in as a way of simply securing survival. There is no sense of collective identity, no "league" to speak off – just a confederation of clubs in which the voice of two is heard louder and more often than anyone else.

What ground Madrid and Barcelona have ceded in terms of the percentage is made up in the prospective total in the new deal (which is yet to be ratified and may still meet resistance). That is a total – and this is the key – that allows Madrid and Barcelona to maintain a huge advantage over the rest of Europe, where their sights are now truly trained. One hundred and thirty-five million euros over the €69m Manchester United get is a huge advantage. It matters little that Valencia, say, can draw closer to you if you can still double their income and at the same time draw further away from teams in Milan and Manchester.

The big two insist that the difference domestically is only fair, reflected in the colossal difference in figures relating to merchandising and marketing. Almost half the Spanish league do not have shirt sponsors this season. Publicly the big two rarely speak out but in private they bring their huge muscle to bear on the rest with a simple, if effective argument: you only fill your grounds and get big TV audiences when you play us. According to El País, Madrid versus Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup took a 62% audience share in Spain; that same week Villarreal's Champions League qualifier was not among the 20 most watched programmes that day. The dominance in international interest is even greater yet.

So, when Villarreal's president, Fernando Roig, says: "I'd like to see Madrid and Barcelona have a league that consists only of the clásicos – that would be pretty boring," the response from Madrid and Barcelona is: and we'd like to see you try to have a league without us.

When Del Nido described the league as "rubbish", it did not take long for the Madrid defender Sergio Ramos to respond and, in doing so, to say it all. "If Del Nido doesn't like it, he can find himself another league," Ramos said. "We like the league the way it is."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/sep/07/la-liga-barcelona-real-madrid

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thing is if the top teams of england spain and italy etc sign up for euro league and breakaway from their own league only one of the teams can win it. the also-rans will start losing their far-east fanbase, the big sponsors wont want to be associated with losers and all the glory hunters who actually go to the games will drift away - revenue will go down and the billionaires who bought the club as a powertrip will fuck off too. so instead of 2-3 huge teams in each league there will only be 2-3 huge teams in europe, this wont attract the neutral so the tv money will disappear and all the spanish english and italian teams will be bankrupt and this is the moment we step up! i reckon 10 yrs from now we will be not only continuing to dominate scottish football but also european and global football and if the aliens turn up we will also take them too as we are well used to beating ugly green bastards. BRING IT ON

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But why would they go to a European leauge? They are too good for the teams in Europe aswell. Its a European wide problem not just in Spain. Only France and Germany have a tight leauge. In Italy, Spain and England the same teams always win the titles.

European football needs a massive restructure. No one seems to care that in the CL for playing in the same tournament at the group stage the big teams make more than other clubs. So its at every level it needs sorted

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Read this the other day. Quite interesting that they seem to be slipping further and further away from the rest of the pack.

Another problem is that the next best teams like Valencia have started to lose all their best players to either Barca/Real or EPL.

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If there is a break away league then what supporters are going to be able to travel abroad every other week to watch their teams play?? Its an awful awful idea!

Aye, that's my only qualm with it. A good idea for the teams but where does it leave the fans? And after all if it wasn't for the fans Football would be nothing

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Aye, that's my only qualm with it. A good idea for the teams but where does it leave the fans? And after all if it wasn't for the fans Football would be nothing

Exactly, too much money is ruining the game more and more every season! The money it costs to get a season ticket for arsenal for example is about 1200 per season, alot of the die hards simply cant afford it , its tragic to see. If rangers were playing in a foreign league it would be the exact same, guys who pride themselves on not missing a game for 10 years simply wont be able to get to these games!

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From a different perspective, is this the start of the end of the Spanish league being the top league?

Do the top top players really want to play against a non challenging opponent week after week after week? This could be good news for the Premiership.

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From a different perspective, is this the start of the end of the Spanish league being the top league?

Do the top top players really want to play against a non challenging opponent week after week after week? This could be good news for the Premiership.

Premier League has competitive imbalance too but at least Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal etc etc stick to collective TV rights.

For me the entertainment (or lack of) in watching two teams win with ease every game is more of a worrying factor than players not wanting to play against challenging opponents.

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Yes the money situation is a problem in Spain and needs fixed but when people claim Spain is just like the SPL it's completely false, there is many good teams that cause the top two problems. Barcelona dominate in Europe because they are one of the greatest teams of alltime and would hammer majority of the teams in England, France, Germany, Italy etc.

But, but, but...! Could they do it on a cold wet night in Stoke?!

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Just don't buy into this argument that Barcelona win with ease 'every' game or hammer teams every single week, it's a myth made up to downgrade the Spanish league. People who regularly watch the games will know that there is many tight games and Barcelona are forced to play very well to win.

23 games from last season that were hardly a walk in the park for Barcelona, people conveniently ignore the easy wins that United get in England over the season. Man United have already had two walk in the park matches against a couple of the 'big six' teams in Arsenal and Tottenham.

Yes the money situation is a problem in Spain and needs fixed but when people claim Spain is just like the SPL it's completely false, there is many good teams that cause the top two problems. Barcelona dominate in Europe because they are one of the greatest teams of alltime and would hammer majority of the teams in England, France, Germany, Italy etc.

Entertainment in La Liga is still better than England in my eyes, and there is no doubt in my mind the EPL will be another two horse race this season, just like always.

A European league will not happen anytime soon, imo.

I don't think Real and Barca's dominance can really be compared to Man Utd and Chelsea's. For example Chelsea finished on level points with 3rd placed Man City last season whereas Real Madrid finished 19 points ahead of 3rd placed Valencia.

Furthermore, the gap between the top teams in England seems to be getting closer, whereas in Spain, Real and Barca seem to pulling further and further away - which was the point of the original article.

Fair point about Barca not having as many easy games as people make out. I would suggest that a lot of it is to do with the fact that Sky shows all Barca and Real matches, whereas only a selection of e.g. Man Utds tougher matches are shown.

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Last season actually saw the gap close in La Liga from the previous season between 1st - 3rd and 2nd to 3rd.

Make no mistake about it those two are way ahead of the rest in Spain, however I think there is a gap between both Manchester clubs and the rest in England, Chelsea have made a couple good signings and possibly could challenge, but I'm not convinced.

Barcelona are just on another planet to all teams and would walk every league, but I agree that problems need fixed in Spain but I just don't buy into the argument that Barcelona get it easy every week and the EPL is a much stronger league. Valencia dominated Man United last season and would be in the top 4 in England, imo.

Blackpool, West Brom and many other poor teams last season dominated Man Utd! You talk sense most of the time but that is terrible logic to argue with.

Valencia haven't performed anywhere near as well as any of the English top four CL teams for almost a decade now.

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Also worth noting that Valencia lost at home to a weakened Man Utd, drew away and then got knocked out by Schalke who are a mid-table German team.

Plus: If you remember our games V Valencia, they were not at all impressive. An easier opponent than any English CL team.

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How can you claim that is a terrible logic then talk about Valencia losing to a team that destroyed the reigning champions last season and made the semi-finals.

Did those two teams dominate at Old Trafford? Nope! The same Valencia team that destroyed us 3-0 when it could have been about 5 or more? They outclassed us more than United did.

Weak United team you say? VDS, Rafael, Vidic, Rio, Evra, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Anderson, Park and Berbatov was close to a full-team and Valencia were arguably the better team on the night. Valencia were also without the likes of Joaquin, Alba, Banega etc.

A decade? You do know Valencia have topped groups with Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool? Knocked out Arsenal twice in that period, Liverpool once. Stand by my claim that Valencia could make the top 4 in England and are not any weaker than Arsenal/Liverpool/Tottenham. Time will tell when they play Chelsea.

What's the furthest Valencia have got in the CL in recent years?

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IIRC correctly they were knocked out in the QF's by Chelsea in 2007, sure it was a injury time goal from Drogba that stopped the tie from going into ET.

Where in my previous post did I mention statistics? All I mentioned was they topped groups involving those English teams in that period you mentioned. Also, why did you ignore the rest of the post? Was it because you realised you made wrongful claims in the previous post!?

Liverpool in the same period including this season;

11/12 - Did not qualify!

10/11 - Did not qualify!

09/10 - Group stages

08/09 - QFs

07/08 - SFs

Liverpool have hardly been great especially in the last three seasons, yet people still claim they will make the top 2, possibly title contenders. Honestly don't know what achieving in Europe has to do with how a team will do over a whole season. Milan were terrible last season in CL but walked the title, whilst Tottenham failed to make the top 4.

This is going way OT and I've never once claimed Valencia have been better in Europe and would not expect them to be against the likes of Chelsea/Man United in recent seasons. But I generally don't see what's so wrong about having an opinion that Valencia would compete for a top 4 place, they have some very good players in their squad and a very good manager who said the same thing a couple months back.

Nothing, I agree they would compete for a top four place.

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