The European Union have made formal accusations against seven Spanish clubs, with claims that they have breached competition rules.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna, Valencia, Elche and Hercules are all to be investigated after they were accused to have received state aid – which is in breach of rules.
At the end of last year, the Spanish government submitted documentation relating to the allegations to the European Commission but their arguments have not convinced the Union’s legislative body who have set April 7 as the deadline for implicated parties to submit their account books.
Three separate investigations are underway – one involving Real Madrid, Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic Club – all of whom have yet to be converted into public limited companies.
The second concerns Hércules, Valencia and Elche who are accused of being the recipients of public-funded loans.
And the third involves the alleged transfer and reclassification of land between Madrid’s regional government and Real Madrid. The Commission states that in all three cases, the clubs may have to return any undue state aid they have received.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic Club are accused of possible tax privileges as a result of not being obliged to convert themselves into public limited companies in 1992. The former three clubs pay corporation tax at 25 per cent, the latter, at 21 per cent while the rest of Spanish clubs, who are PLCs, pay at the standard 30 per cent tax rate.