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Court dismisses Real Madrid case against new La Liga media access

A legal complaint from Real Madrid against the new media access requirements imposed by La Liga has been dismissed by the Audiencia Nacional (National Court) in a ruling delivered by Judge Jose Luis Calama, per The Athletic.

This development follows La Liga’s recent announcement of enhanced media access measures as part of its partnership with EA Sports for the 2023/24 season.

Under these new measures, La Liga had mandated the installation of cameras inside dressing rooms and during team huddles on the pitch, aiming to provide fans with an unprecedented behind-the-scenes experience. 

However, Madrid strongly opposed these requirements. Los Blancos alleged they were detrimental to their interests and potentially jeopardised €13 million in revenue generated through the partnership with EA Sports.

Madrid escalated their opposition by submitting a formal legal complaint to the Audencia Nacional last week, asserting that La Liga’s actions constituted ‘fraudulent’ and ‘arbitrary’ disposals of their rights, seemingly targeting them economically. 

They also claimed the actions were driven by President Javier Tebas’ purported animosity towards the club, stemming from their opposition to the Liga Impulso project and support of the European Super League initiative.

However, Judge Calama’s ruling refuted Real Madrid’s claims, stating that their complaint did not align with the criminal code. 

The court explicitly dismissed allegations of ‘unfair administration, misappropriation, corruption in business, and the crime of imposition of abusive agreements’. 

Madrid’s argument that the new measures were tailored specifically against them were rejected, given that 19 other La Liga clubs had approved the changes in a majority vote before the commencement of the 2023/24 season.

La Liga’s decision to enhance media access has received mixed reactions from various clubs.

Despite the legal setback, it remains to be seen whether Madrid will comply with the new media access requirements or explore alternative avenues to protect their interests.

The court’s decision to dismiss Madrid’s complaint is an intriguing point in the ongoing debate surrounding media access in modern football. 

It underscores the challenges that football authorities face in balancing the demands of fans for increased access to their clubs, particularly those of Madrid’s stature, who argue that such measures may compromise their competitive edge. 

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