05 April 2013

European Commission pressed for stadium judgment

Pressure has been heaped onto the European Union's executive body to finally make a decision on their investigation into alleged illegal state aid given to Spanish football club Real Madrid to improve their stadium's profitability.

By James Barnes

Real Madrid's iconic Bernabeu stadium

The European Commission’s competition office confirmed the investigation to The Independent newspaper, which reported that the Spanish club allegedly entered into a land deal with Madrid city council in which a piece of land acquired by the club for €421,000 was subsequently sold back to the council for €22.7m.

Naming rights

According to the report, the club received land around its Bernabeu stadium rather than a payment. The report goes on to claim that Real intend to build a hotel and shopping mall complex on the land, as well as putting a roof on the stadium with lucrative naming rights.
EC competition office spokesman Antoine Colombani confirmed that the Commission is investigating the claims, adding that the case was opened in December 2011 but it is still as a ‘preliminary’ stage.

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