MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) – South America’s top soccer clubs on Monday created an alliance to defend their financial interests in the distribution of broadcast revenues by the region’s soccer confederation, 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 they would ask for “an increase in the amount clubs receive for this edition of the Libertadores Cup 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 Libertadores Cup that starts next month, while CONMEBOL should see an increase above 250 percent.
“This is not against anyone, it is simply in favour of more involvement in the television contracts,” Juan Pedro Damiani, president of Uruguayan club Peñarol, told Reuters. Damiani said more transparency was needed, as broadcast rights contracts were 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 will elect its new authorities within the next 60 days, the statement said. It will also call for the end of the 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; Peñarol, Nacional and River Plate in Uruguay; Universidad de Chile, Colo Colo and Universidad Católica in Chile; Olimpia and Cerro Porteño in Paraguay; Liga Deportiva Universitaria in Ecuador; and Sporting Cristal y Club Melgar in Peru.
(Reporting by Matías Larramendi and Malena Castaldi in Montevideo; Writing by Sarah Marsh in Buenos Aires; Editing by Peter Cooney)