Real Madrid win appeal against “illegal state aid”

22 May 2019

The General Court of the European Union have annulled a European Commission decision from 2016 which ruled Real Madrid’s €22.7m yieldings from a real estate refund as ‘illegal state aid’ to the tune of €18.4m.

This means that the previously seized sum of €18.4m will be returned to the club, along with a further €2m in interest. The dispute emerged when the club paid €595,000 to the Madrid City Council for a section of municipal land in 1998 which, for technical reasons, they did not receive. It was ultimately settled in 2011, with the council paying Los Blancos €22.7m in compensation.

However, in 2016 the European Commission ruled said transaction illegal, with the value land apparently overestimated by €18.4m, leading to the stripping of those assets.

This ruling has now reversed this decision, with the club confirming in an official ​statement: “Real Madrid C. F. reports that the General Court of the European Union has notified them of the judgment in which it considers our complaint against the European Commission’s decision regarding alleged state aid.

“This supposed state aid would affect the valuation of plot B-32 in Las Tablas included in the agreement signed with the Madrid City Council in 2011. The Court has decided to annul this decision, which entails the return to ​Real Madrid of 18.4 million euros, plus 2 million euros in interest for late payment, an amount that was improperly considered as State aid and that Real Madrid had to pay to the City council of Madrid.

“In addition, this Court orders the European Commission to pay the costs, including those of Real Madrid.”

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