Martinez: Spain deals don’t work

The comments of Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre, who wants to

see England’s biggest clubs receive a larger slice of overseas TV

revenues, have drawn a critical reaction from a host of clubs,

including Latics chairman Dave Whelan, who labelled them

scandalous. Martinez, who given his Spanish roots keeps a close eye

on what happens in his homeland, adopts a more measured stance,

insisting the growing power of Real Madrid and Barcelona does not

provide the best example for the Premier League to follow. “The

distribution of TV funds in Spain hasn’t worked,” Martinez said.

“Real Madrid and Barcelona are getting richer and the others are

finding it harder, year by year, to compete. “That is great for the

two football clubs but no good for the league.” Indeed, it seems

the Spanish authorities are looking at ways of redressing the

balance, more in line with the Premier League model, which involves

the equitable distribution of overseas income among the 20

top-flight clubs. “The good thing we have in our [English] league

is the competitive edge,” said Martinez. “That is there for a

reason. We should realise why. “The Spanish league is looking to

copy some of the things in our league now. “It would be strange for

us to try to adopt ways to run our league that don’t work in other

countries.” Asked whether fans in Spain are starting to get bored

by the dominance of Madrid and Barca, Martinez said: “Yes. They end

up supporting Barcelona or Real Madrid. “They don’t support their

own teams because they are not competing. “You end up splitting

Spain into two football teams. The league suffers. That is a

shame.”