Gareth Bale's Real Madrid move should be investigated - Catalan MEP Tremosa
Catalan MEP Ramon Tremosa says he wants a "transparent" view of the €101 million transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid from Tottenham in summer 2013 -- amid questions over whether the deal may have broken European Commission competition rules.
Earlier this week Tremosa, along with fellow MEPs British Daniel Dalton and Belgian Sander Loones, officially wrote to the European Commission asking whether taxpayers' money was used to underwrite the La Liga giant's world-record outlay.
The focus on the deal comes after the Football Leaks website claimed to have secured details of Bale's transfer -- which appeared to show that Madrid secured funding from a number of big Spanish banks. One of these, troubled institution Bankia, has received an €18 billion (£14 bn) bailout from the EU.
UK Conservative Party member Dalton told the Daily Telegraph this week that he had concerns that European taxpayers money had been used to give Madrid an advantage over other clubs in the transfer market.
And asked in an interview by AS, Tremosa said he had not personally instigated the questioning, but was keen for all details of the transfer to be made public.
"I am one of the three MEPs who signed the question -- with a Flemish and British colleague," Tremosa said. "The initiative for the question about Bale was not mine, they invited me to join. It is happening as we want to be transparent. I do not accuse anyone, but after the reports in the Telegraph we want to clear up all the facts."
In 2012 Tremosa, a member of Catalan independence seeking party Convergencia Democratica de Cataluna, came to football fans' attention when he asked the Commission to investigate an on-field stamp on the hand of Barcelona star Lionel Messi by Real Madrid defender Pepe.
The Barca fan again denied he is seeking to cause trouble for the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu outfit, maintaining he just wanted to see Madrid's transfer dealings receive the same focus as Barca's.
"The question asks if Madrid received money from banks which have taken public money and used it for transfers," Tremosa said. "I want this case to be investigated with same professional diligence and zeal that [Spanish finance minister Cristobal] Montoro has investigated [Lionel] Messi or Neymar. It does not seem wrong to me that the tax authorities want Barca players to fulfill their obligations -- but it also seems right to clear up where the money came from for Madrid to sign Bale."
AS also spoke to a European Commission spokesperson Ricardo Cardoso, who said his body did not look individually at each business decision that Bankia's management decided to take.
"The Commission supervises the implementation of a restructuring plan for Bankia, but does not supervise each of Bankia's commercial decisions," Cardoso said. "Although we would want their activities to be purely commercial, aimed at maximising returns."