Third-party bonuses: LaLiga chief Tebas has found a remedy
TV revenue system putting a stop to third-party bonuses
The final two rounds of the LaLiga season are upon us, with all games involving teams challenging for the same objectives kicking off concurrently. And you may have noticed that this year there's been no talk, or at least very little talk, of third-party bonuses. It's a problem that seemed uncontainable; but, as it turns out, there was a solution. LaLiga president Javier Tebas' remedy was to include a scale in the Royal Decree on audiovisual rights by which TV revenue would be shared out depending on teams' final league positions. It no longer doesn't matter whether you finish 10th or 11th. There's money in it for the club. The 'briefcase payment', which sought to re-motivate a side with nothing to play for, is being phased out by something organised and above-board.
Of Primera's total TV income, 25% (375m euros) is distributed according to where clubs have come in the table over the preceding five years. Teams' payments are structured as follows: 35% for the most recent season, 25% for the one before that, and the remainder split evenly between the previous three. So prize money for LaLiga placings is cumulative and can represent quite a chunk of cash. In Segunda, only the latest campaign is taken into account because there isn't such a pressing need for so complex a system for rewarding teams' positions: with four going down and six promotion spots available (bringing either automatic top-flight entry or a play-off place) there are barely any dead rubbers to speak of. In that regard, the introduction of the play-offs has worked a treat.
Culture of Spanish football starting to change...
Of course, it remains to be seen whether extremely deep-rooted habits have been stamped out once and for all. In Segunda, for example, an unspoken rule has held sway since time immemorial by which if one of the two teams in a final-day match needs the points and the other doesn't, the side for whom nothing is at stake basically hands them over. LaLiga will send two observers to those games - one sporting and one from its integrity department - as well as issuing pre-match warnings to both clubs. Meanwhile, there's something similar which, as things stand, seems to have evaporated this term: the famous 'Basque pact', which has so often set chins a-wagging. Alavés beat Athletic Club, who are chasing Europe, last time out. I think a shift in culture is starting to take hold.
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