The General Court of the European Union on 22 May overturned a decision issued in 2016 by the European Commission which ruled that Spanish football giants Real Madrid received €18.4 million in illegal aid from Madrid City Hall in a transaction involving municipal land.
At the time of the ruling, Brussels’ Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, estimated
that the municipality should have paid only €4.3 million leaving the land in question overvalued by €18.4 million, giving Real Madrid an advantage over other clubs.
The European Union’s General Court said, however, that the Commission “could not classify the disputed measure as state aid.”
This is not the first decision annulled as regards Spanish football clubs. In February 2019, the European Court of Justice annulled another Commission decision involving four Spanish clubs, including Real, but also Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao, to repay illegal state aid.