Argentina to form football ‘Super League’ to combat financial trouble

Global Business

Football (soccer) television rights around the world are worth billions of dollars every year. The football league in Argentina doesn’t attract the most lucrative contracts, but the clubs that feature many of the world’s top players are hoping to change that by forming a new Super League.

CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports.

Argentina to form football \'Super League\' to combat financial trouble

Argentina to form football \'Super League\' to combat financial trouble

Football (soccer) television rights around the world are worth billions of dollars every year. The football league in Argentina doesn’t attract the most lucrative contracts, but the clubs that feature many of the world’s top players are hoping to change that by forming a new Super League. CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports.
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At Banfield, one of the oldest clubs in Argentina, posters pay tribute to it’s only league title won in 2009. The star of that team now plays in Europe.

Banfield is strapped for cash and the season starts in a month. The team still does not know how much it will receive from TV rights.

The five biggest clubs in Argentina recently voted to form a new Super League to negotiate TV rights and marketing separate from the Football Association. The Director of football at Banfield, Alejandro Grigera said he welcomes this move after years of financial instability.

“We’re currently receiving around 30 to 35 percent of what the TV rights are really worth compared to the global market,” Grigera said. “It’s a vicious circle. There’s not enough money. And clubs are going into debt. The money that is generated through TV rights is not enough.”

The future of televised Argentine football is uncertain. It’s complicated because the government holds the rights, and all the matches are free to air.

Some clubs want to end the deal with the government, valued at $166 million each year, and accept a higher offer, possibly from U.S. media corporation Turner International. But this would mean changing the way fans watch their team on the weekends, potentially through pay-per-view, which is not a popular option.

“I’m in favor of the current system, it’s a real shame,” Carlos, Racing club supporter, said. “Football, here in Argentina, is the people’s sport. It’s not like in other countries. In my opinion it’s a shame, it’s a step back.”

Supporters may disagree, but for the club directors, it’s straight forward.

They said believe the new Super League in Argentina will generate more revenue for clubs. But the domestic league is not the only concern for the Football Association, which is having to cope with the fallout from the Copa America.

After losing to Chile this month, Argentina captain Lionel Messi announced he’s quitting international football. Not having a star player may mean dropped sponsors, which could cut the national team’s earnings by more than half.

A lot of questions and still much for Argentine football to resolve before the new season starts in August.