EU orders recovery of Madrid aid

The EU has ordered the Spanish government to recover within four months the €18m plus interest of state aid given illegally to Real Madrid.

AS reports the European Commission found Spain contravened Article 108, paragraph three of the Maastricht Treaty in a 1998 land deal between the club and the city of Madrid.

Los Blancos were granted land by the capital and then when it was discovered the land couldn’t be built on, they were compensated, the EU finding that the level of compensation was excessive.

The country has been given four months to take back the money plus interest from the club, and also been ordered to provide within two months an explanation as to how they intend to recoup the money and the documentation showing the club has been told to pay it back.

Valencia, Hercules and Elche have also been beneficiaries of state aid, AS notes, with the local government in Valencia lending €86m to Valencia, €18m to Hercules and €14m to Elche in collateral for bank loans, and that will also have to be paid back.

The EU is also looking into the business models of Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna as they are foundations and not companies, and as a result save on their taxes as compared to the clubs that are registered as limited companies.