Portuguese Liga president to take fight for collective sales to EU

Mario Figueiredo, the president of the Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional, Portugal’s professional football league, said he would take his fight to introduce a collective broadcast rights model in the Primeira Liga, the country’s top division, to the European courts.

Figueiredo is seeking to make the league the sole negotiator for Primeira Liga rights and is preparing a complaint to the European Union about the current model, which favours Portugal’s bigger clubs.

Portugal currently permits football clubs to sell their broadcast rights individually. As a result, the country’s leading clubs – FC Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon – secure half of the estimated annual broadcast rights revenues of €75 million ($98.25 million).

The league also approved the expansion of the Primeira Liga from 16 to 18 clubs, with the league allowing the two clubs at the foot of this season’s table to avoid relegation. The decision still needs to be ratified by the Federação Portuguesa de Futebol, the Portuguese football federation, and the Conselho Nacional do Desporto, the country’s National Sports Council.