What's buzzing:

Dirty Tackle

Spanish economist says La Liga could ‘kill itself’ within five years, suggests Iberian league

Dirty Tackle

View photo

.

Barcelona's new away kit is clearly to blame. (Getty)

Jose Maria Gay de Liebana, economics professor at the Universidad de Barcelona and Spain's leading football economist predicts Spanish football will kill itself within five years if current troubles don't change. He says that revenues aren't rising fast enough to match high costs and La Liga's television deals are poorly structured. He also believes too much importance is placed on attracting Chinese fans and suggests the radical change of forming an Iberian league with Portugal's three biggest clubs. Other than that, he thinks everything is just fine and dandy.

From Soccernet:

"If things go on like this, Spanish football will kill itself," he said. "A year ago I predicted that La Liga had only ten seasons left, now I see that five more would be a lot." [...]

"La Liga's television rights are badly sold because they are shared between two operators, when in the rest of Europe negotiations are with one party," he said. "Also, in my opinion, the Chinese market is wrongly prioritised, when the American and Japanese are more relevant. In this way, the global reach of the contracts should be changed."

One of Gay de Liebana's more speculative solutions for helping Spanish clubs to increase their revenues was to form an Iberian league, including Portugal's big three clubs.

"Today the Spanish league is not of great interest," he said. "Adding a Portuguese part would give us extra glamour, with Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon. It would give us more character."

Obviously the chances of an Iberian league actually being formed are slim, but adjustments could be made to the level of focus being put on attracting Chinese fans. In June, the Spanish football federation signed a €32 million deal that will have five of the next seven Supercopas hosted in China and La Liga kickoff times have been changed to better suit supporters in Asia.

Similar doomsday predictions have been made for other leagues across Europe, but like when scientists warn of the disastrous effects of global warming, they are usually dismissed when the disembodied head of Al Gore doesn't immediately set the earth on fire.

Considering Gay de Liebana's claims to having done research that proves "the long-term detrimental financial effect that Jose Mourinho's transfer policies had on clubs he managed," maybe some of Spanish football's issues can be fixed simply by giving Mourinho a one-way ticket to MLS or the J-League.

View Comments (22)
  • Finlay scores 2 as Crew beat Union 4-1

    Finlay scores 2 as Crew beat Union 4-1

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ethan Finlay had two goals and an assist, Justin Meram and Kei Kamara each added a goal, and the Columbus Crew beat the Philadelphia Union 4-1 on Saturday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 1 minute ago
  • Caldwell scores first goal, Revs rip RSL

    Caldwell scores first goal, Revs rip RSL

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Scott Caldwell scored his first MLS goal and had an assist and the New England Revolution beat Real Salt Lake 4-0 on Saturday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 4 minutes ago
  • Adelaide march into A-League finals

    Adelaide march into A-League finals

    Adelaide United have scored an easy 4-1 win over Melbourne City at Hindmarsh Stadium in their final-round A-League clash. … More »

    7News - 2 hours 44 minutes ago
  • Injuries and arrests after violent Belgrade derby

    By Zoran Milosavljevic BELGRADE (Reuters) - Thirty-five police officers were hurt and 41 fans arrested in a violent Belgrade derby between Red Star and Partizan on Saturday. "Hooligan behaviour has led to slight injuries to 35 police officers," … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 45 minutes ago
  • Neymar and Messi help 10-man Barca beat Espanyol

    Neymar and Messi help 10-man Barca beat Espanyol

    By Tim Hanlon BARCELONA (Reuters) - Neymar scored the opener to continue his rich vein of form as 10-man Barcelona won a one-sided La Liga derby against Espanyol 2-0 on Saturday while Antoine Griezmann's double helped Atletico Madrid beat Elche … More »

    Reuters - 4 hours ago