Clubs vote against RFEF competition reforms as Mediapro vows to sue Rubiales
Spanish LaLiga soccer clubs have voted against proposed changes to the Supercopa de Espana and Copa del Rey put forward by the RFEF, the national federation.
However, the decision is not a binding one.
Earlier this year, RFEF president Luis Rubiales presented plans to expand the Supercopa from a contest involving the LaLiga and Copa del Rey champions to also include the runners-up of the competitions and stage it abroad every year.
The federation is also proposing scrapping the two-legged format of the Copa del Rey, except for the semi-finals, and introducing LaLiga teams from the first round, as opposed to at the round of 32, as at present.
However, the clubs in the top two divisions opposed the reforms at a general assembly on Wednesday.
In a statement, LaLiga said: “This is due to the fact that these types of changes should be agreed to by La Liga as they affect clubs belonging to the league and they imply an important change to the professional competition calendar.”
The league stated that 39 of the 42 clubs were against, with only two in favour, while one abstained.
However, it remains to be seen if the objections have any effect with the RFEF general assembly set to vote on the plans next Monday.
The federation wants to take more Supercopas abroad after this season’s event, which involved Barcelona and Sevilla, was held in Tangier in Morocco as a single match, a break from the tradition of a two-legged contest held at the stadiums of the participating teams.
It has also proposed moving the event from August to January in the season.
Spanish sports newspaper Marca reported this week that the government of Saudi Arabia had made an offer of €30 million ($33.5 million) per annum to stage the Supercopa for the next six years.
Meanwhile, Mediapro, the Spanish sports rights and production firm, has pledged to take legal action against Rubiales for accusing it of paying bribes.
The RFEF president was quoted in the media as having made the allegation as he blamed La Liga president Javier Tebas for the fact that he and his advisors were unable to gain entry to yesterday’s general assembly.
In a press release, the company said it would demand from Rubiales “a public rectification of his accusations against Mediapro and will initiate legal actions for damages to his reputation that these unfounded and reckless accusations may have provoked.”
According to Marca, Rubiales said: “I think he [Tebas] is nervous because some good friends of his, who until now had control of the entire television market, now will not be able to hold it.
“They are people who have bribed Fifa members (there is an examination of a bribe by Mediapro in 2018) and from the RFEF [point of view], we have been told that we should not work with people who are being investigated for bribery.”
Mediapro responded by saying: “Mr Rubiales is perfectly aware that his statements are false, since on April 11 he was already informed in writing that neither Mediapro nor Imagina Media Audiovisual, the parent company of the group, have been convicted of bribery, fraud or similar in any of the countries where they operate."
The company added that the RFEF’s president’s claims were “offensive, unfounded and improper,” and pointed out that its acquisition from Fifa of the rights in Spain to the 2022 World Cup “contrast enormously with the position that the RFEF, according to its president, says it has adopted.”