Gil: La Liga’s top stars will leave

Atletico Madrid chief executive Angel Gil Marin has warned that most of La Liga’s top stars will depart within three years.

Gil Marin [pictured, right] said in an interview with AS that the exodus of top players will continue, as it will be virtually impossible for the majority of clubs to keep players such as Radamel Falcao on the payroll due to the unfair distribution of television money.

“In three years’ time none of the great players will be in La Liga except for those at Barcelona and Real Madrid,” said Gil Marin. “We have to change this structure so that 18 of the 20 La Liga clubs are not left to live off breadcrumbs.

“With the arrival of people from Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Russia the 10 or 15 players who are at the highest level will be able to continue asking for what they want.

“They will be able to play in China, at Paris Saint-Germain or [Manchester] City because footballers, in the end, always believe their careers are short.”

The conversation then got round to Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments that he was unhappy at cross-city rivals Real Madrid, although Gil Marin refused to comment on the issue and instead warmed to his subject.

“The Premier League has created a brand image and, through international rights, their clubs get three times more money than Spanish clubs. Here, I’m sure that Real Madrid and Barcelona will once again be 30 points clear of third [place in the table.]”

He also returned to the recent controversy surrounding the scheduled kick-off times, with Atletico forced to postpone Monday night’s game with Athletic Bilbao and also having had to start matches at noon on Sunday and 11pm local time.

“I do not like games on Sunday at midday. The tradition does not exist in Spain, like in England, but if we have to play because there is compensation then we will do so.

“Did somebody tell us these games would be seen in China? If they did then it is an open market, so why do Real Madrid and Barca play so few games at this time? ” he asked.

“Last year we played eight games at that time and in seven of them we were coming back from Thursday night Europa League fixtures.”

According to Gil Marin and the other clubs that agree with him, there has been no detailed study of the viability of Spanish football in the Asian market.

“We have to put the accent on it. Firstly, because half the world’s population lives in Asia, and secondly because qualitively and quantatively these countries are powerful. We have to urgently negotiate those rights.

“Atletico are advocating we take the best from other models, the American, English and German ones mainly, and get away from what we now have where only Madrid and Barca are news, with the rest mere anecdotes.

“We need to have a League free of debt and bankruptcy proceedings. A competition in which one team takes 100 points from a possible 114 is sick. The example is in England, where United lost their second game and won the third in stoppage time.

“Here two teams earn €140m and the rest earn €40m. You only need to look at what happened this summer. Except for Athletic and ourselves the rest had to sell their best players to survive the threat of bankruptcy.

“A French team, a Russian team and two English ones came in for Falcao, but he stayed because we are the kind of club that takes big risks when meeting payments. There are players here such as Emre who are earning €2m when they were offered €4m in Russia.”

In addition, Gil Marin feels the clubs themselves need protection from the high salaries they need to dish out in order to be competitive.

“Clubs should be protected. A Bundesliga player signs a contract that says he will not earn money after 45 days should he be injured and has to take out separate insurance.

“If the club goes down then contracts are automatically reduced by 40 per cent,” explained Gil Marin, who believes that the television rights for the next three years will be sold in a joint package, although he does not expect it to be made law.

Tags Gil Marin