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La Liga plays catch up as it goes global


Most people would agree that the top two leagues in Europe are currently the Premier League and La Liga. Serie A has slipped back somewhat, in part because of a variety of scandals.  The Bundesliga is catching up in the money stakes and the French Ligue 1 has a higher profile simply because of PSG.

However, according to figures from Deloitte, the Premier League's clubs generated €4.9bn in revenue in the 2015/16 season, whereas La Liga generated €2.4bn.   There is a lot of catching up to do and La Liga knows that it is behind the Premier League on the globalisation curve.

It is hoped that Barcelona and Real Madrid will play competitive matches in China and the United States from next season.   Playing Premier League matches abroad has long been an ambition of Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, but has so far not happened because of resistance from clubs and fans.

La Liga believes that playing matches abroad could lead to more lucrative broadcasting and sponsorship deals.  La Liga's interest has grown after this summer's International Champions Cup in Miami.  The ICC was set up by Relevent Sports four years ago, a US promoter backed by Stephen Ross, the wealthy owner of NFL owner the Miami Dolphins.

The game between Barcelona and Real Madrid, billed as an El Clásico, was played in front of 66,000 fans and gained a strong television audience.   La Liga believes that its USP is that its competition features world class players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bundesliga sources said rather sniffily that they did not support the idea.