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Premier League a bigger threat to Barcelona than Real Madrid – Bartomeu

SoccerNews in La Liga 22 Feb 2016

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the Premier League is a bigger rival to the club than Real Madrid. 

From next season the 20 English top-flight teams will take a share of the mammoth £5.136billion paid by Sky and BT Sport for live Premier League TV rights.

That figure has Bartomeu worried, with English clubs outside the traditional group of heavyweights now able to make an impact in the transfer market. 

“Premier League teams will have an incredible financial situation from now on and we are worried,” he told BBC Sport. 

“For Barcelona [the Premier League is] our main adversary, main rival.” 

Pressed on whether or not Madrid should hold that distinction, Bartomeu said: “No, [the] Premier League.”

“The Premier League is the best football competition. It has the most interest for fans and [biggest] revenues. They are doing things [well] and keeping teams in the competition [for titles], where everyone being equal is of interest for everybody.

“We have different budgets in Spain and it would be difficult for someone [like] Leicester to be top of the league.

“We have to do our best to increase our revenues and our financial situation to make the talent of our teams stay with us.

“That is why I am so worried and we are working on this. We want to keep the talent at home.”

As for the possibility of Barca stars being poached by the Premier League, he said: “I know our players are in touch with other clubs, it’s normal. None of our players said they want to leave. 

“Most get better economical offers, but our players are not in Barcelona for the money, they are there because of the football and the fans’ commitment.”

Barcelona face Arsenal away in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday as they aim to repeat last season’s historic treble.

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