Need some insight into the future of Spain’s women’s football teams? Read on to find out the latest news.
Spain’s women soccer teams have been left out of a billion-dollar deal that could well decide the future of all major leagues in Spain. If the latest reports are to be believed, a prospective broadcasting venture proposed by CVC Capital Partners has been met with resistance from a few LaLiga teams.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Athletic Bilbao have all spoken out against the CVC proposal, going on record to say that the bid is simply not competitive enough, and that accepting it would threaten all teams’ current media rights. However, after their first bid was rejected by The Spanish Federation, CVC made a new offer that has sparked major controversy.
The bid
CVC’s initial bid allocated $5.5 million for women’s football. However, the new offer, sent on December 1st to all Spanish clubs, has absolutely no mention of funding for women’s football. As you might expect, this generated a lot of negative reactions. According to LaLiga’s corporate spokesperson, Javier Gomez, the rejection of CVC’s first proposal led to the decision to remove all references to women’s funding from the new bid.
Gomez went further to say that, because three teams rejected the initial offer, LaLiga and CVC decided that they would rather avoid the chance of additional teams taking the side of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Athletic Bilbao.
In order to start a new broadcasting venture in Spanish football, CVC and LaLiga have been trying to figure out a way to get all clubs to agree on what a new venture would entail. The initial pitch was for CVC to purchase a 10% stake in a new broadcasting management company that would focus on Spain’s top football competitions.
Current affairs
Due to the current state of global affairs, many teams have struggled with finances. This makes the CVC deal all the more important, with some financial experts claiming it is critical to the future of Spanish football. As hyperbolic as some of these claims might appear, they do have a ring of truth to them.
None of the parties involved in the deal have confirmed the absence of women’s funding. The bid itself has no reference to such funds, but that could also mean that the amount simply hasn’t been disclosed publicly, at least not yet. In other words, an undisclosed amount could very well be on the cards.
A statement given to the press by LaLiga representatives appears to confirm the aforementioned theory. However, despite CVC stating that the original funding structure had not changed, LaLiga’s statement refers to a lower amount allocated to women’s football. Instead of the $5.5 million offered in the first bid, the latest bid earmarks $5 million.
By all accounts, the discrepancy between $5 million and $5.5 million is negligible, but it does lead one to think that there may be a bit of miscommunication between CVC and LaLiga. Irrespective of whether or not that’s true, the three teams who rejected the proposal have come up with an alternative bid, a proposal that is said to be worth around $2.2 billion.
When approached for questioning, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Athletic Bilbao all declined to comment further. Clearly, three of the biggest clubs in Spanish football know something the public doesn’t. However, with no mention of women’s funds in this proposal either, it’s quite disconcerting to see the lack of acknowledgement of women’s football, especially if we take into consideration how much women’s football has grown in terms of fans, viewership figures, and worldwide recognition.
The greater context
This is hardly the place for a debate on female representation, but it was important to mention such a glaring oversight in one of the world’s biggest sports. Barcelona’s women’s team, for example, has already proven that it can fill a 60,000-capacity stadium with passionate fans. One of Barcelona’s midfielders, Alexia Putellas, won the Ballon d’Or in 2021, which is the most prestigious award an individual can earn in professional football.
Compared to more progressive nations, Spain’s football leaders are looking a little old-fashioned in the way they do business. In England, for instance, the Women’s Super League just signed a $32.5 million deal with Sky Sports, CBS Sports, and the BBC. The three-year contract covers broadcasting rights in both the US and the UK. As another example, France’s women’s league has a contract with Canal Plus, though the terms of that deal haven’t been disclosed to the public.
While there is the potential for all of this controversy to end up being a waste of time, it nonetheless highlights a complex issue regarding the future of Spain’s football culture. Equal representation in terms of gender is an issue as old as time, and we’re constantly dealing with the repercussions of a patriarchal society. 
Should a professional player’s salary be affected by how ‘popular’ they are? Or how successful their team is? What about broadcasting rights? Will there always be gross inequality across genders? If getting paid is truly based on performance, then what does gender have to do with it? No matter what the truth is, women’s teams need to be fairly represented at the proverbial round table.

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