Real Madrid repays state aid deemed unlawful

Madrid, Nov 5 (IANS) The local government of Madrid acknowledged the receipt of 20 million euros ($22.6 million) from Spanish football club Real Madrid as repayment of aid which the European Commission had deemed to be unlawful.

A city government statement on Friday said that the municipal treasury had received the payment in one of its bank accounts, reports Efe.

“Madrid City Council has received an amount exceeding 20 million euros from Real Madrid as repayment of aid deemed irregular,” the statement said.

The statement added that the city government’s finance department had required the payment in order to comply with a decision handed down by the EC “on illegal state aid granted in 2011.”

The commission in Brussels had said in a statement published on July 4 that Real Madrid had in 1998 agreed a transfer of land then worth 595,000 euros ($662,949) from the city of Madrid.

“Eventually, the transfer did not take place,” the EC statement said.

In order to compensate the club for the absence of the promised land, the city government compensated Madrid to the value of 22.7 million euros ($25.2 million).

However, the value of the land in question had been boosted by a re-evaluation so that Real Madrid obtained an advantage of 18.4 million euros ($20.5 million) from the compensation, the EC statement said.

“The Commission’s investigation showed that Real Madrid was entitled to compensation of 4.3 million euros (approx $4.8 million),” the statement said.

The payment amounted to unlawful state aid, the commission concluded.

The city’s finance department had urged the club in September to make the payment of 18.4 million euros ($20.5 million) plus interest, giving it two months in which to deposit the amount sought.