FC Barcelona loses EU bid to overturn state aid claim

Barcelona football club on Thursday lost a quote prior to the EU’s leading court to reverse a claim it got unreasonable state help through tax breaks.

The EU’s Court of Justice dismissed an appeal lodged by FC Barcelona over a February 2019 judgment that discovered its status as a non-profit organisation provided it an unreasonable lower tax rate than that used to most other Spanish clubs.

Under a Spanish law going back 3 years, just Barcelona, Pamplona, Athletic Bilbao and Genuine Madrid were given the non-profit status, and all other expert clubs needed to sign up as restricted sports business based on greater taxes.

Struck by a European Commission claim that it was, in impact, getting state help, FC Barcelona argued that there was no legal evidence of a financial benefit.

However the EU court sided with the commission in discovering that the conditions fulfilled the state help meaning under European law.

It ruled that the EU’s lower court had actually erred in its handling of the matter, and specified that “the aid scheme at issue was… liable to favour clubs operating as non-profit entities”.

As an outcome, “the Court dismisses the action” brought by FC Barcelona, it stated.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.