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Spanish Football League


Spain is one of the countries that have dominated the game of football over the last couple of years. The country has achieved success with its senior and junior national teams. Spain is the current European champions. They also won the 2010 Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) world cup hosted in South Africa. Apart from the national team, Spain also has a strong and well organized football league structure that has produced very competitive teams. According to experts, the good results produced Spain’s national team over the years, can be attributed to the country’s league.

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A strong and well organized league system yields good results for a country’s national team. The reason for this is that players get good opportunities to identify, develop, and exploit their talents. The country has leagues for both men and women. The men’s category has more than five divisions, and applies the system of relegating and promoting teams depending on their performance. The first division, which is commonly known as La Liga is very competitive and watched across the world. Running a football league is one of the most lucrative businesses in the contemporary economic structure. Spain has not lagged behind in terms of investing in this opportunity.

Football is one of the main economic pillars of Spain’s economy. According to statistics by FIFA, Spain has more than 600,000 and 2,000,000 registered and unregistered players respectively. In addition, the country’s football league structure has more than 18,000 registered and active clubs. These clubs have contributed a lot in reducing the rate of unemployment in the country and boosting economic stability. By taxing clubs and their players, the country has managed to increase its revenue collection. Spain’s football league attracts players from all over the world because of its competitive nature.


Spain’s football league was created in 1929 with only three divisions. In 1984, the Spanish football association changed the league system in order to incorporate teams from various parts of the country. The league divisions were increased from the initial three to nine. The first division is called La Liga and comprises of 20 clubs. The second division is called Segunda and has 22 clubs. The third division is called Segunda B, and has 80 participating clubs.

However, the teams compete in four groups of 20 clubs each. All the other divisions are regional and have different numbers of participating clubs. The women’s league has three levels, namely the Primera division, Segunda, and Segunda B. Since the inception of the football league in Spain, La Liga has evolved to become one of the most competitive top divisions in the world. Barcelona was the first team to win the league title in the country back in 1929.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao were the most competitive teams when La Liga was started. However, Barcelona and Real Madrid have dominated the league in the last four decades, with 22 and 32 titles respectively. Records indicate that over the last one decade, other teams have also strengthened and increased competition in the league. Some of the teams that have won the league over the last two decades include Sevilla, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, and Atletico Madrid.

Teams participating in the country’s first division have been very competitive, especially in continental and global tournaments. Real Madrid is the most successful team with ten continental titles. The success by Spanish clubs has attracted numerous sponsors and television partners who invest a lot of money towards the growth of the league. The investors have helped to boost the economic capacity of the teams, as well as elevating the league in terms of professionalism and marketability.

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As earlier noted, running a football league is one of the most lucrative businesses in the contemporary economic set up. Effective marketing, good management, and high level of professionalism in football have attracted numerous investors who use clubs to promote their products and services. Over the last couple of decades, clubs in Spain have experienced increased revenue mainly from their numerous sponsors, transfer of players, and match tickets.

Most professional football clubs in Spain also make good revenue from selling broadcast rights to various television partners across the world. Studies have established that much of the revenue made by these clubs is often reinvested back into developing team facilities and catering for wages. Since the inception of the football league in Spain, annual revenues made by clubs have been on a steady increase due to high commercialization of the game. Most clubs make a lot of money from selling their magazines, wallpapers, jerseys, and going on global tours.

During the pre season, most clubs, visit other countries to train, meet their fans, and sell their brand. Such tours are a huge source of revenue for the clubs because more people tend to familiarize with their brand and end up buying their jerseys. For example, teams playing in La Liga made over $3 billion in revenue during the 2013 season. Spanish teams playing in European competitions often make the most revenue because of television rights.

There is also the cash prize for winning such competitions, which further increases their revenue. The most important aspects that have enabled the football league in Spain to make huge revenues include effective marketing and branding. Clubs have learned the importance of meeting the needs of their fans by playing attractive football and increasing their accessibility to numerous products and services.


Although most teams in Spain cannot compete with their counterparts from other countries in terms of financial resources, the total amount spent in the league to buy new players is always high. For example, in the summer of 2014, Spanish clubs playing in La Liga spent over $400 million to buy new players. Currently, Gareth Bale, who plays for real Madrid is the most expensive player in the world. The club paid $140 million to Tottenham Hotspurs in order to acquire the player in 2013. Before that, Chirstiano Ronaldo, a player in the same club was the most expensive player in the world following his transfer from Manchester United.

According to experts, players are crucial assets to teams in terms of attracting revenue and increasing their fan base. When a team buys a highly talented and skillful player, their sales often increase due to more people buying their jerseys and buying tickets to go and watch their matches. For example, Real Madrid and Barcelona have made a lot of revenue by signing quality players throughout the years. Players such as Messi, Neymar, and Ronaldhino have helped Barcelona to make good money over the last couple of years.

On the other hand, players such as David Beckham, Zidane, Christiano Ronaldo, Kaka, and Gareth Bale have also attracted huge revenues for Real Madrid. Although these clubs incurred huge costs when acquiring these players, their high marketability has helped to boost the value of their clubs and that of the Spanish league. Numerous costs are involved in running the Spanish football league. They include stadium management, paying match officials, travel expenses, supporting the management team, and issuance of playing permits among others.

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The future

According to experts, the future of the football league in Spain is very bright. Considering the speedy rise of the Spanish teams in terms of competing in major continental and global tournaments, the league in Spain is bound to become the most marketable in the world. Most players are being attracted by the growing competitiveness of the league, thus showing that it can become stronger with time if clubs decide to invest in building their brands. Quite a number of FIFA world player award winners have spent most of their careers playing in the Spanish league.

Relevant stakeholders should devise strategies that will enable all the teams playing in the league to have equal economic strength, as it will increase the competitiveness levels. For example, in 2013, Real Madrid earned over $150 million from selling their broadcast rights, while a team like Granada made slightly over $15 million from the same opportunity. In order to make the Spanish football league as the most lucrative and competitive, it is important for La Liga’s management team to seek a collective television rights deal that will benefit all teams equally.

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