Spain government to recover state aid?

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao are among the clubs who could be asked to repay state aid wrongly paid out.

A report in El Pais says the European Competition Commission has been looking into state aid paid and tax breaks given to a number of Spanish clubs and believes the government should seek to recover it.

The amount is believed to total €25m but Brussels is willing to wait until a new government has been established, as the result of the recent general election has left an uncertain picture.

Madrid’s involvement relates to a favourable land deal allegedly given to the club by the Madrid City Council.

It’s alleged Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon wanted to gift land to Madrid and when he was prevented from doing so by a change to the law, awarded the club more than €22m in compensation, a figure significantly higher than the slightly under €600,000 at which the land was originally valued.

An independent assessment commissioned by Brussels to establish the value of the land found it was worth less than half the sum Madrid received in compensation.

Valencia, Hercules and Elche are also named as having possibly received state aid that would have to be recouped.

And it’s reported that Madrid, Barca, Athletic and Osasuna may have received tax breaks that will leave them with a bill to pay.

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