‘Unreasonable to call it state aid’

Miguel Cardenal says it is unreasonable for the European Commission to call Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna’s lower tax rate state aid.

The Minister of State for Sport has today responded to EC Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia’s launch yesterday of an investigation against seven Spanish clubs for allegedly receiving state aid.

Among the allegations made is that Barca, Madrid, Athletic and Osasuna have received a form of state aid through reduced tax rates, for having not converted to corporation status in the early 1990s.

However, at an improved rate of five per cent less than the 16 other sides in La Liga, the Minister of State for Sport has done the maths.

“There is no special plan with aid, whilst they must study the Spanish legislation. This has been very damaging to the image of our football,” Cardenal has commented to reporters today.

“I have been interested especially in the matter of taxation of the four clubs that are not corporations and I have asked for the fiscal years of the last four years.

“And these potential benefits amount to €100,000 per team per year. It is Commissioner Almunia who should clarify this.

“To say that this is state aid is unreasonable. I wonder why he has called a Press conference for such a trivial amount.”

Tags Cardenal EU European Commission Joaquin Almunia