ALL is not well in Spanish football especially the First Division. Many of the smaller first division clubs are battling for survival with enormous debts and even our Real Mallorca, relegated last season from the top flight, is suffering from severe financial problems. Now, the only bright spot in Spanish football appeared to be mighty Barcelona and Real Madrid with their all-star squads and their enormous hauls of trophies. But now they are under investigation by the European Union over unfair tax advantages. “Professional football clubs should finance their running costs and investments with sound financial management rather than at the expense of the taxpayer,” read a statement from European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. Other Spanish clubs are under investigation including Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Elche and Hercules. Real Madrid are already being probed over a controversial deal in which they sold their training ground to the Madrid council. Land valued in 1998 at 595,000 euros was later put at 22.7 million euros. Now, Real Madrid and Barcelona are Spanish icons and allegations they have received preferential treatment from the Spanish authorities are nothing new. They receive a lion´s share of the TVrevenue much to the disgust of the smaller teams in the league. I sincerely doubt that the European Union investigation will progress too far. In Spain Barcelona and Real Madrid are much more than just football clubs, they are a way of life which in some ways shape modern day Spain. I suspect that they are untouchable.
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