BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has opened legal proceedings into whether Real Madrid, Barcelona and five other Spanish clubs get an unfair edge from illegal state aid.
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Wednesday that clubs should use sound financial management rather than live "at the expense of the taxpayer."
Almunia's office must make sure businesses across the 28-country EU face a level playing field. The probe is intended to see if teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid have been relying on illegal aid to face other Spanish clubs and European clubs like Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Beyond the top two teams, the probe centers on Valencia, Hercules, Elche, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna.