Spanish Soccer Clubs Win State Aid Row Over Subsidies

Law360, London (March 12, 2020, 3:26 PM GMT) -- A European court on Thursday ruled that taxpayer guarantees covering the debts of two Spanish soccer clubs did not amount to illegal state subsidies, overturning a decision by the bloc’s competition enforcer to strip the cash-strapped teams of tens of millions of euros.

The European Union's General Court found that the European Commission made “manifest” errors when it concluded that favorable loan guarantees granted to Valencia FC and Elche gave the clubs an economic advantage over their rivals.

In the case of Valencia, the commission wrongly assumed that the soccer club received guarantees on a €75 million loan from a state-backed...

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