Spain’s top clubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid may have to pay millions in taxes. On Thursday, the European Court of Justice overturned a 2019 ruling by an EU court in the legal dispute over tax breaks for sports clubs, which annulled an earlier decision by the EU Commission.
In 2016, the Commission classified a special tax regime for Barca and Real as unlawful state aid. In addition to the two clubs, Atletico Bilbao and CA Osasuna are also affected. The four clubs are now expected to have to make additional payments, the exact amount has to be clarified by the responsible authorities.
According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the commission is calling on the Spanish government to impose fines of up to five million euros per club.
Under a 1990 law, all Spanish professional sports clubs were forced to transform into sports corporations. An exception was made for clubs that had generated a surplus in the tax years before the law was passed. You could claim a five percent lower income tax rate up to 2016.