The European Union has approved sanctions against seven Spanish clubs–including Real Madrid and Barcelona– which are guilty of accepting state aid, FootballEspana reported.
News surfaced over the weekend that Los Blancos owed Madrid City Council €18.4m from a series of land deals. The default in agreement has therefore, attracted unavoidable sanctions on the club.
Alongside Real Madrid comes Barca who must also pay back up to €5m from winning tax privileges, according to the report.
A statement issued in Brussels by the EU’s Competition Commission read:
“Spain must recover amounts of illegal state aid from seven beneficiaries, namely: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna, Elche and Hercules.
“Using taxpayer money to fund professional football clubs can distort competition. Professional football is a commercial activity, in which a lot of money is at stake.
“Public funds must comply with the rules of fair competition and, in this case, the investigated subsidies did not meet them.
Valencia, Hercules and Elche owe €20.4m, €6.1m and €3.7m respectively for guarantees on loans granted by the Valencian Institute of Finance.
Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, like Madrid and Barca, must also reimburse up to €5m each for tax privileges, the report added.