Something in the classification of this League invites us to remember other times, more open or less Manichean. It is a trip to a nearby past, where the hegemony of Barça and Real Madrid was discussed, winners of 13 of the last 14 championships, the route from 2004 to 2018 that coincides with the trajectory of Messi in Spanish football and the distribution of television rights from 2006 to 2016. In that period of 10 years, Real Madrid and Barça obtained a sidereal advantage over the rest of their competitors in Spain and Europe.
Not even the great teams of the English League, favored by the largest television contract in the world, could get close to the amounts that Barça and Madrid received (150 million per season each). Its distribution plan responded to a criterion much more equal than the Spanish, whose model has changed substantially since the enactment of the decree-law of the PP Government in May 2015. It is a law that configures a more equitable distribution of television revenues of the League and reduces the distance of Real Madrid and Barcelona with the rest of the clubs.
The Spanish League is explained through many looks, but none is more important than money. In the ten years prior to the television revenue model that sanctified the hegemony of Barcelona – nine League titles, three European Cups – and Real Madrid – four Leagues and four European Cups – the Spanish championship met five winners: Valencia in two occasions, Deportivo, Atlético de Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid. This period, transcendental for contemporary football, was characterized by the application of Bosman ruling since 1996 and its effect on the television market.
The total opening of the football market meant the internationalization of the staff and, as a consequence, the increase in television revenues, distributed in a similar way to the current one. Its effect allowed a more open League: five winning teams in 10 years. This League without control wants to remember those times, but it is not explained only by the new distribution of television revenues.
Other factors of significance affect the less dominant position of Real Madrid and Barcelona. The current television contract of the Premier League is far superior to the Spanish one: the best players and coaches head to England. The irruption of the State-teams, in the case of Paris Saint Germain or Manchester City, financially penalizes clubs such as Barça or Real Madrid, whose old corporate structure links them more and better with the common people than with the new challenges of the business. football.
Perhaps for this reason, the most expensive signing of Real Madrid since James in 2014 has been the young Vinicius, hired with 17 years for 45 million. Gone are the times of star system that Florentino Pérez implanted in world soccer with the acquisition of Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo, Beckham, Cristiano, Kaka or Bale. Something similar happens in Barça, clinging to Messi's board. It's been a while since he signed a consecrated star. Buy good players to dry, Coutinho, or unverified promises: Dembélé. However, this devaluation of the two big players in the transfer market is appreciated much more by players who have left than by newcomers. Barça has lost Neymar and Real Madrid to Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the three figureheads of LaLiga. They have not even gone to the Premier League. They represent a worrying symptom for a League that seems more democratic in the competitive arena, but which seems to lose its capacity for fascination in the world.