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By ESPN Staff

Spanish football paves way towards club franchises

MADRID, July 20 (Reuters) - Spanish soccer's governing bodies signed an agreement on Wednesday that paved the way for American-style sporting franchises to operate in their leagues.

A meeting between the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Football League (LFP) ratified proposals that would allow a club to sell its right to compete in the league to another club.

On this basis a team could also move its location without affecting its right to participate in the competition.

Spain's sports minister Jaime Lissavetzky said they were working towards setting up a new regulatory framework for sport in Spain.

'Professional sport is changing rapidly. This coming together and commitment to resolve controversial issues is a positive step towards achieving our aim,' he said.

The agreement also said that they were working towards making referees professional within the next three seasons.

The co-operation agreement between the LFP and RFEF was signed until 2010, clearly outlining areas of responsibility, ending a long-running power-struggle between the two bodies.