The president of Spain’s top division says he wants to attract all the best players in the world to the country and rival the commercial power of the English Premier League.
La Liga boss Javier Tebas even joked he wants “the best 500 players” in global football in the league.
“We are not going to stop. We want the best 500 players,” said Tebas.
The Premier League’s last domestic TV deal alone earned it £3.018bn.
“We want to make sure we have the biggest clubs and also the best players from the whole world in our league,” said Tebas.
Rodriguez, Kroos and Suarez will feature in the ‘El Clasico’ meetings between Real Madrid and Barcelona next season alongside the likes of Welshman Bale – who says La Liga is the best league in the world – Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Champions Atletico Madrid have paid £22m to Bayern Munich for Mario Mandzukic and have agreed to pay Real Sociedad £24m for France winger Antoine Griezmann.
But some clubs – including Atletico, Sevilla and Valencia – have racked up huge debts attempting to match Real and Barcelona while Malaga and Rayo Vallecano were banned from European football because of the state of their finances.
La Liga has a system whereby each club is allowed to negotiate their own TV deals and, while Barcelona and Real Madrid earned £110m last season, their rivals struggled to match that amount.
|Top five all-time world transfers|
|Gareth Bale||Tottenham to Real Madrid||£85.3m|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United to Real Madrid||£80m|
|Luis Suarez||Liverpool to Barcelona||£75m|
|James Rodriguez||Monaco to Real Madrid||£71m|
|Kaka||AC Milan to Real Madrid||£56m|
In contrast, the Premier League negotiates its TV deal on a collective basis.
Tebas is trying to bridge the financial gap by raising the profile of La Liga by targeting new markets, including the United States and Asia.
With its huge Hispanic population, the USA is viewed as a key market and Tebas, who was born in Costa Rica, held a series of meetings with “key business partners” in San Francisco last week to discuss future strategy.
Those discussions were concluded by the centre piece LFP World Challenge, where Atletico overcame MLS side San Jose Earthquakes on penalties.
Spanish TV monopoly
|The Spanish system of each club being allowed to negotiate their own TV deals does weight the competition in favour of the heavyweights.|
|In 2012-13, Real Madrid and Barcelona each pocketed over £110m in TV income.|
|Atletico Madrid and Valencia were the next highest, at £33m. But Real Betis were one of six clubs who only received £9.5m.|
But they are the type of pre-season fixtures that Premier League clubs are invited to all the time. Over the past fortnight, nine of the English top flight’s 20 clubs have played in the US.
It is a figure Tebas needs to match if he is to close the gulf in financial power between the leagues of England and Spain.
“It is impossible to compare us with the Premier League from a commercial perspective,” said Tebas. “What we are trying to do is get closer to them.
“We have been in Asia but right now our aim is to bring more teams from La Liga to this part of the world. We are working on this, it’s a long-term project and is why we are here in the United States.
“There is a lot of support out here for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Our goal is to bring more teams here from La Liga so the football supporters in the United States can get used to them as well.”
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