Madrid: A split has opened up in the ranks of rebel Spanish football clubs complaining that giants Real Madrid and Barcelona get an unfair share of cash from lucrative television rights.
Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido had invited a dozen clubs to a meeting September 8 to seek a new distribution of the TV money that would sharply reduce Barca and Real's share.
Neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona were invited.
So things were a bit tense when all the clubs got together Thursday for a meeting of the Professional Football League (LFP).
"The posture they took was all against Sevilla," said a statement by Sevilla vice president Jose Maria Cruz published on the club's website after the meeting.
Only Espagnol and Betis came to Sevilla's aid at the LFP meeting with a "praiseworthy" defence of their position while others mostly stayed out of the discussion, Cruz said.
"Real Madrid had a strong reaction against Sevilla's position, a sign that they feel threatened and other clubs even apologized for having gone to the Sevilla meeting," Cruz said.
At last week's meeting the 12 clubs called for the TV rights sales to be centralised under the LFP.
Real Madrid and Barcelona receive about 140 million euros ($197m) a year each from television rights, while small clubs such as Levante, Malaga or Real Sociedad get just 12 million euros.
Cruz said he was "indignant and disappointed," by the reaction of some other clubs at the latest LFP gathering.
"It shows, once again, that consensus is only possible when we all defer to what is proposed by Real Madrid and Barcelona, otherwise consensus is unfeasible," he complained.
"We are going to stick to our line because we believe we have right on our side," Cruz said.
But it was impossible to reach a deal through negotiations at the LFP, he said.
"Any consensus is condemned to failure because you cannot fix things speaking to people who do not want to hear or speak about a balanced distribution," Cruz said.
"But we are not giving up and we won't cease in our determination or swallow it however much they attack us."
The outspoken Del Nido blasted the existing Spanish league as "the biggest rubbish not only in Europe but in the world," in an August 29 interview with state radio RNE.
"It is a Third World league in which two clubs subtract the television money from the rest of us who are competing," he said.
"We are running down the Spanish league."