MONEY GAME

Real and Barça oppose deal to play Supercup in China

La Liga’s big two in opposition to the rest of the clubs which accept the economic incentive of going east

At a meeting of Liga clubs early this week, Barcelona and Real Madrid were the only two that opposed a motion to play the Spanish Supercup in China from 2013 onward. The Spanish Football Federation reached an agreement with United Vansen International Sport in June to take the Supercup to Beijing for five of the next six seasons. In its current format, the Supercup is a two-match affair played in August between the winner of the previous season’s Liga and King’s Cup trophies.

“We just don’t see it,” said Barça president Sandro Rosell. Both his club and that of his counterpart Florentino Pérez, who also attended the meeting, cited the problems fans would face to travel to the match, as well as sporting and economic reasons — although the latter point has a curious ring coming from two of the world’s richest clubs, which regularly stage money-spinning pre-season tours in Asia and the USA.

"More money"

“Most of the clubs are interested,” said Atlético president Enrique Cerezo. “They have given their side and we have given ours. For Atlético it is a matter of economics: we will make much more money playing there.”

The RFEF will take the final decision after hearing the arguments of all the Liga clubs, but with an agreement already signed with the Chinese firm and only two clubs against the proposal, it seems inevitable that it will be approved. However, with Barça and Real having contested the past two Supercups, refusal on their part would complicate the deal considerably.

The Italian Supercup has been played in Beijing three out of the past four seasons, with Inter, AC Milan, Roma and Juventus appearing.