Recently, there was news about possible formation of Iberian League. In this post I am going to present the positives and negatives of that kind of league!
The discussion about Iberian league has surfaced at the same time as there is a discussion about Barcelona being separated from Spain. I have no idea, if Iberian league is some kind of counter measure in case Barcelona leaves, but its still a very interesting idea.
The point of Iberian league would be that Spanish and Portuguese clubs would play in the same league. This would obviously bring some important positives to both set of clubs, but also some glaring problems.
Lets start with the positives that this kind of league would bring to the clubs!
Portuguese and Spanish clubs would get more money!
Premier League is the league that receives the largest amount of money from TV deals. Ti is fallowed by Spanish La Liga and than everyone else. Portugal league is well behind both Premier League and La Liga.
There were reports that the likes of Benfica, Sporting, and Porto are going to receive a massive amounts of money from the new TV deal in Portugal, but that was misinterpreted. As you can see on this link, the biggest clubs in Portugal will get all that money in the next ten years! Those clubs are going to earn around €50 million. Its still a lot of money, but falls way off Premier League, where the last team in the League will earn around €100 million!
If Portugal and Spanish clubs would form one league, than there would be a lot more money from the TV, because the league would became a lot more interesting. The league might even start to endanger Premier League’s position.
The most positive effect would be for the biggest clubs in Spain and Portugal, because the majority of money would end in their pocket. This would mean that Real, and Barcelona would became the ultimate football institutions (if Barca would stay in Spanish league), while clubs like Porto, Benfica, and Sporting could return to their former glory.
The league would became more interesting!
Its a simple fact that there is not enough strong teams in Spanish La Liga. Usually, title is decided between Real Madrid, or Barcelona. When Atletico Madrid managed to win the competition, it was like the biggest surprise in decade.
If Portugal clubs (I mean here the biggest clubs) would start to play with Spanish clubs, there would be a lot more interesting games. League in itself would became more exciting. Its hard to say if duopoly between Real, and Barca would be broken, but there would be considerable more surprises than now.
It might even happen that Benfica, or Porto would win the league, which would be very important in terms of competitive, and would surely brought much more people to watch the games.
It would became the strongest league in the world!
As I said before, this kind of league could overcome Premier League as the best league in the world. It already has the best two players in the world, and others would soon follow. The good part would be that not all those players would be playing in Barca, or Real.
You can only field 11 players in football match, so Real, and Barcelona wouldn’t have the place for the other football players. Teams that are currently strong, but not the strongest would profit a lot from this.
The new superstars would end up playing for Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Sevillla, and such. It would increase the equality inside the league, with investors willing to put more money into the clubs.
A lot of 1st rate clubs would end up in the second league!
La Liga consists of 20 teams in every season, while Portuguese Primiera Liga consists of 18 teams. If these two leagues would combine, a lot of clubs, that are currently playing in first divisions, would be left out. In other words, they would be delegated to second leagues.
A lot of clubs with big history would lose their place, and their founds. Rendering them unimportant, and with no future. Those clubs would pay a big price, if Portugal and Spanish league would combine into a single league.
This would especially be true for Portuguese clubs, because they are in a disadvantage to La Liga clubs (they have fever financial resources). This would mean that this kind of merger would not be good for Portuguese clubs in general.
At positives, I said that some clubs would profit. Those clubs would be mostly the bigger clubs (mostly Spanish). On the other hand a lot of smaller clubs would perish (mostly Portuguese clubs).
Problems with Champions League qualification!
The biggest leagues have four places designed for Champions League. This places would still be the same, if Iberian league would be created. This means that a lot of clubs that are playing in Champions League would lose a lot of money, and also a lot of attention.
If you assume that Real, and Barca would definitely be in one of those four places, that would leave only two teams more to be included in Champions League football. This would mean that a lot of big clubs would not feature in Champions League.
This would be problematic especially for Portuguese clubs, because they are guaranteed Champions League football
Portuguese clubs would be worse off!
The only clubs from Portugal that would profit would be the big three. Sporting, Benfica, and Porto would most likely benefit from the stronger league. Other clubs would from Portugal would however suffer because of this.
From Portugal standpoint this would not be good, because the league would still look like a Spanish league with the exception of those three Portuguese clubs.This would obviously be a very bad thing for Portuguese football.
This is one of the reasons why Scottish clubs didn’t join the Premier League, because only Celtic and Rangers (now only Celtic) would be strong enough to “survive” in the Premier League, while other clubs would end up in the lower leagues.
The positives of Iberian league would be more money for Spanish and Portuguese clubs, the league would became more interesting, and the league would surpass the Premier League. The negatives of Iberian league would be that a lot of first team clubs would end up in the lower leagues, clubs would have problems with Champions League qualification, and Portuguese clubs would be in a worse position than Spanish clubs.
Its difficult to say if there ever will be an Iberian league, but the fact is that a lot would have to be done to create such a league. That kind of league would definitely have a big potential, but given that it would be much better for Spanish clubs, the things look like a long way from happening.