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Javier Tebas: "Our recommendation is for the LaLiga season to start on 21 August"

In the wake of the extraordinary general meeting held today, the LaLiga president revealed details about the schedule to be put forward to the RFEF (Royal Spanish Football Federation), as well as the approval of the regulations governing the audiovisual rights for the 2016/17 season.


THU 05.05.2016

Javier Tebas gave a press conference in the aftermath of the extraordinary general meeting held in Madrid this Thursday. The LaLiga president announced that during the course of the meeting the proposed schedule for the 2016/17 season had been approved and is now set be presented to the Royal Spanish Football Federation. Tebas revealed that "the Liga BBVA season would begin on 21 August and finish on 21 May, whilst the regular Liga Adelante season would end on 11 June, with the last team to be promoted via the play-offs on 25 June," before adding that "the Copa del Rey final would be played on 28 May and LaLiga would take a break at Christmas, between 23 December and 2 January."

The president also reported that the representatives from the clubs and public limited sports companies had approved the regulations governing the new audiovisual rights. "We were the only league in Europe not to have such a document, and following on from the centralised sale of the audiovisual rights which came about as a result of the approval of the Royal Decree-Law 5/2015, this is something we have to work on." Tebas also offered details of other areas which are set to come under regulation in an effort to ensure that the quality of the broadcasted images is perfect. These elements include interviews, the state of the playing surface, the digital advertising found around the edge of the pitch, lighting and the broadband connection. As Tebas put it, "the regulation will be very wide in its scope, but at the same time very specific."

When quizzed about the distribution of coverage next season amongst broadcasters who don't own the broadcasting rights, the president declared that, "the rights will be going up for tender shortly, but our current thinking is that the match highlights should belong to one exclusive broadcaster who is able to sublicense, this has not been the case this season." As for the distribution of the audiovisual rights, Tebas underlined that "the smaller teams are going to receive a far bigger share of the money than they have done up until now", before adding that "in two or three years there'll be more teams competing for the LaLiga title."

On LaLiga's future sponsorship situation, Tebas stated that the organisation is "preparing for the possibility of not selling a title-sponsor package, but rather devising a strategy – like other leagues have done – with five strong sponsors instead of a single one that risks overshadowing the name of the competition."

The president was also asked to compare LaLiga and the Premier League, in reference to comments made by Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini: "If he says that the Premier League is the most powerful league in the world because it has the highest turnover, then he's right on that front. But if you weigh up financial and sporting considerations, LaLiga is the best in the world, and in a few years we'll be as powerful as the Premier League financially, if not more so."

Tebas went on to stress that "there will be no football at Christmas because the agreement with the AFE [Association of Spanish Footballers] says that none can be played at this time" while adding that LaLiga will be organising promotional events and activities during the festive period like last year. The president also reflected on the continued success of Spanish teams in Europe: "I expect a very evenly matched Champions League final. It's a coup for LaLiga and here's hoping it's rounded off tonight in the Europa League." Last but not least, Tebas praised the efforts of the higher-ups at Spanish clubs: "They're the ones who make the decisions. They're the ones who opted to establish financial controls and who sign players and appoint coaches. It's thanks to this approach that we've seen our clubs performing at the highest level in recent seasons."



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