Wed, Jan 13, 2016 - Page 18 News List

S American soccer clubs create alliance

Reuters, MONTEVIDEO

South America’s top soccer clubs on Monday created an alliance to defend their financial interests in the distribution of broadcast revenues by the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL).

Representatives of the 15 clubs from Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay met in Montevideo and demanded that CONMEBOL call an extraordinary executive committee to meet with them about their concerns.

The clubs said in a news release that they would ask for “an increase in the amount clubs receive for this edition of the Copa Libertadores and all international tournaments equivalent to the rise in the television contract signed between CONMEBOL and Fox Sports.”

The clubs are currently set to receive an increase of 40 percent of revenue from the rights to the Copa Libertadores, which starts next month, while CONMEBOL should see an increase of more than 250 percent.

“This is not against anyone, it is simply in favor of more involvement in the television contracts,” Penarol president Juan Pedro Damiani said.

He said more transparency is needed, as broadcast rights contracts are now kept secret from clubs.

The announcement did not mention the global soccer corruption scandal in which several former CONMEBOL officials have been indicted.

The South American League of Clubs is to elect its new authorities within the next 60 days, the statement said. It would also call for the end of a clause stipulating that clubs pay CONMEBOL 10 percent of ticket revenue for regional tournaments played in their stadiums.

The clubs that created the league are Boca Juniors, River Plate, San Lorenzo and Racing Club in Argentina; Penarol, Nacional and River Plate in Uruguay; Universidad de Chile, Colo Colo and Universidad Catolica in Chile; Olimpia and Cerro Porteno in Paraguay; Liga Deportiva Universitaria in Ecuador; and Sporting Cristal y Club Melgar in Peru.

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