Spanish top soccer league LaLiga has revealed it has distributed around €1 billion ($1.09 billion) to its constituent clubs as part of its LaLiga Impulso program.
The project, which aims to revamp the league’s commercial outlook by distributing funding to clubs to utilize across a range of areas, was made possible due to €2 billion of funding from US investment group CVC, and €1.4 billion has already been dispensed to the league.
The money distributed to clubs is earmarked specifically to improve the clubs’ non-sporting outlooks, with 15% of the overall €2 billion allocated to debt resolution, 15% to financial fair play commitments, and the remaining 70% for growth of the clubs taking part.
Whilst this has left a lot of money still yet to be distributed to the clubs, LaLiga head of clubs office Jaime Blanco Manrique explained at a LaLiga media event: “LaLiga has [kept] around 20% of the total funds, because those funds are not freely distributed to the clubs.
“The clubs need to present us with a development plan, they need to present us with initiatives and evidence of what they want to do. The clubs evaluate those initiatives and if it’s within the spirit of [LaLiga Impulso] then the funds are transferred.”
Blanco Manrique also explained that any clubs wanting to make specific infrastructure upgrades with the funding must have total approval from the regional administrations, or else the funds will not be given.
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He added: “We want the clubs to properly spend the funds. […] Those funds need to have a return because they have to [be used to] generate more funds, more income, etc.”
One of the major beneficiaries and supporters of the LaLiga Impulso plan is Real Betis, whose commercial director Pablo Ortiz Donaire explained how the club has utilized the funding and how it plans to continue to benefit from it.
He said: “We faced two projects, the first one is already done, that was our [training] facility. […] The challenging part is the new stadium. We are in a tourist [sic] city, we want to be a touristic [sic] spot, we want to be a venue, we want to make money every day. We want to make an investment that can move the activity of our city toward our stadium.”
Betis has also utilized the funding to improve its internationalization efforts. Through Impulso, LaLiga sets each club targets in a number of commercial areas that they must meet in order to access funding and a core part of that is each club’s international strategy. The clubs receive feedback on strategy and are given aid to improve their standing globally.
Earlier this year, Betis was one of four LaLiga sides to head to North America on a pre-season tour. While this supports the club’s strategy, Ortiz Donaire maintained that it will take a while for teams to truly reap the rewards of the internationalization strategy.
Speaking to GlobalData Sport, he said: “You cannot measure every action. Obviously, we have an increase in our focus in Mexico and the US. We keep feeding the market with content, especially Mexico as it is one of our key markets and we want to see the results in the long term.
“Obviously, every time LaLiga makes one of those tours we want to be involved, every opportunity we have to move around is good.”