Sevilla step up push for fairer TV cash distribution

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MADRID (Reuters) -- The president of Sevilla has stepped up his drive to stop Real Madrid and Barcelona taking such a big chunk of audiovisual rights revenue by inviting all La Liga clubs except the big two to a meeting on Thursday.

President Jose Maria del Nido, one of the most outspoken critics of the current system under which Real and Barca take around half the annual pot of 600 million euros ($845 million), has invited the 17 other clubs to gather at his club's stadium to discuss the matter, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

He was unable to say how many clubs had indicated they would attend the meeting.

The difference in class and spending power between Spanish and European champions Barca and Real -- the world's richest clubs by revenue -- and their domestic rivals was underlined by their emphatic wins in their opening league games of the season.

Barca crushed Villarreal, who are competing in this season's Champions League, 5-0 at the Nou Camp, while Real demolished Real Zaragoza 6-0.

The results prompted the president of Villarreal to accuse Barca and Real of killing Spanish soccer, while Del Nido said La Liga was "a load of rubbish" as only two teams had a realistic chance of winning the title.

Spain has yet to adopt the system of collective bargaining and income sharing used in other competitions like the English Premier League and Real and Barca get a far bigger share of TV money than rivals in other major European leagues.

Miguel Guillen, president of Sevilla's city rivals Real Betis, was quoted as saying in local media on Tuesday that when clubs came to negotiate their new contracts with broadcasters they would try to end Real and Barca's hegemony over TV cash.

Most of the current deals expire around 2014.

"Talks on 2014 will be held at the appropriate time but one thing is for sure," Guillen said.

"When the clubs sit down to negotiate we hope that the rule that says 50 percent of the money goes to Real Madrid and Barcelona disappears."

Real declined to comment on the matter, while Barca could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Iain Rogers; Editing by Sonia Oxley; To query or comment on this story email