La Liga plan to host Madrid, Barcelona fixtures abroad

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La Liga chiefs are planning to host Spanish top flight matches abroad as the Spanish League president Javier Tebas is studying an offer from U.S based promoter Relevent Sports to have Real Madrid and Barcelona play regular fixture matches on foreign soil starting from next season.

The essence of the plan is to generate greater revenues as games in the top Spanish division will be held in countries like the United States and China.

The Premier League is the most profitable competition in Europe, with clubs generating €4.9 billion in revenue in the 2015-16 season, while La Liga is a distant second having made €2.4bn.

The league’s president Javier Tebas is keen to take advantage of the Spanish game’s growing international audience and cash-in on revenue streams as a result.

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“La Liga is global entertainment and we want to grow the international appeal of La Liga,” Tebas explained.

“As part of that effort, we are discussing the option of playing some of the league matches outside of Spain. These discussions are still in early stages, but as La Liga, we support the idea.”

Similar plans were drawn up in England a decade ago before being scrapped in 2008 due to mass opposition via fans and politicians.

The chairman of Relevent – the group who founded the International Champions Cup (ICC), a series of high-profile summer friendlies abroad – hinted at La Liga’s plans: “The future is for games that are official games to be in the US, China and other places...

“There are already leagues — and I can’t say [which] because they are confidential conversations — that are talking to us about potentially doing something in the future.”

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Since taking the helm of La Liga in 2013, Tebas has been working on strengthening the finances of the country's 42 first- and second-division teams and pushing for the league to catch the Premier League in order to match its economic strength.

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