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Soccer-Real Madrid says US$3.2 billion La Liga deal with CVC 'deceitful'

MADRID :Real Madrid denounced on Thursday a multi-billion dollar investment and revenue-sharing deal between Spain's top soccer league La Liga and private equity firm CVC, saying the agreement was reached without the football club's knowledge or consent.

"The negotiation was done without competitive process... giving the CVC fund over 20per cent annual returns," Real Madrid said in a statement, adding that the operation's structure was "deceitful" and would expropriate the clubs of a portion of their audiovisual rights over the next 50 years.

The club considers the deal, under which CVC will invest 2.7 billion euros (US$3.2 billion) in La Liga in exchange for 10per cent of its revenue and a 10per cent stake in most of its business, to be a misappropriation of assets generated by Real Madrid and will sue La Liga accordingly, Spanish outlet El Independiente reported.

CVC did not respond to a request for comment.

"Legal moves by Real Madrid don't worry us," a La Liga spokesman said, noting legal battles between La Liga and Real Madrid were common. "We have been and are at odds over many topics... there are many open cases between La Liga and the club."

Relations between Madrid and La Liga, which have often been strained, hit new lows earlier this year after the club spearheaded a movement to create a breakaway European Super League with 11 other major teams.

The Spanish football league's Executive Committee, which includes the bosses of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla but not those of Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, approved the planned CVC deal on Wednesday and it will now be put to a vote by all league members.

Real Madrid said they would call an assembly of their partners to debate the agreement and discuss the "unprecedented patrimonial losses".

The rejection of the proposed cash injection to La Liga came on the same day that arch-rivals Barcelona announced that star forward Lionel Messi would leave the club.

The Catalans cited the league's financial constraints as the sole reason as to why the Argentine would be departing Camp Nou after 18 years following the expiry of his deal at the end of June.

When contacted by Reuters about the CVC proposal, which local media reports had suggested would help get Messi's contract over the line, Barcelona declined to comment.

(US$1 = 0.8448 euros)

(Reporting by Nathan Allen and Clara-Laeila LaudetteEditing by David Holmes and Christian Radnedge)

Source: Reuters

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