LaLiga among group proposing new soccer league body in Brazil

La Liga President Javier Tebas poses before an online interview with Reuters at the La Liga headquarters in Madrid
La Liga President Javier Tebas poses before an online interview with Reuters at the La Liga headquarters in Madrid, Spain January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera/File Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 15 (Reuters) - A consortium that includes Spain's LaLiga presented a proposal to Brazil's top soccer clubs on Tuesday with the aim of creating a new league body independent of Brazil's national football confederation.

The proposal envisages financial services firm XP bringing an investor to a league operated by LaLiga, the private sports association responsible for the organisation of Spain's top soccer divisions, and aided by consultants Alvarez & Marsal.

Unlike countries such as England, Spain and Germany, where the league is run by a body separate from the national association, professional leagues and national teams in Brazil are both controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

Although Brazil produces some of the best players in the world, the local leagues are often disorganised and underfunded.

"The dialogue and understanding between the clubs, XP and Alvarez & Marsal will result in a profound transformation of domestic football," said Pedro Mesquita, head of Investment Banking at XP.

"We have in our hand the best proposal to create a league in Brazil with the ideal conditions to find the most competitive investor."

Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, said the proposal was designed to share the best practices of the Spanish league and included lessons for financial stability and business development.

It comes nine months after Brazil's top clubs said they intend to create an independent league body that would give them more say in the running of the domestic club game.

However, that idea has yet to come to fruition and Tuesday's proposal is an indication there is still work to do.

The CBF last week indicated it was supportive of the clubs' plan to form an independent league.

Tuesday's proposal also comes amid a restructuring of a domestic game that has long punched below its weight in global terms.

A law passed last year allows outside investors to sink money into clubs that have traditionally been run by their members and so far Cruzeiro, Botafogo and Vasco have all welcomed new owners.

Reporting by Andrew Downie Editing by Christian Radnedge

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