MEP calls for investigation into Bale's Real Madrid move


MEP Sander Loones has called on the European Commission to mount an investigation into the financing behind Gareth Bale's world-record transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013.

Loones and fellow European Parliament members Daniel Dalton and Ramon Tremosa wrote to the Commission with concerns that Spanish banks bailed out by European tax-payers provided guarantees for the fee paid to sign the Welshman.

In 2013, Dutch MEP Derk-Jan Eppink raised questions over the financing arrangement behind the deal, and the trio have reignited the issue with their submission to the executive body of the European Union.

"Promissory notes were issued to Tottenham Hotspur, which subsequently seem to have been sold on to Spanish banks, which have now ended up assuming the risk for Bale's record-breaking transfer fee," read the question signed by the three MEPs.

"Is it correct to state that bailed-out Spanish banks were offering promissory notes to Tottenham to act as a guarantee, thereby indirectly putting the liability on the Spanish and European taxpayers?"

Loones hopes it sparks a probe into the details of the transfer by the Commission and would like to see appropriate action taken over any findings.

"I hope to receive answers to the three questions that the three of us decide to pose to the Commission," the Belgian MEP told Omnisport.

"Above all, I would like to see the Commission actually investigating the facts and the financing arrangement behind the transfer of Gareth Bale. 

"If bailed-out Spanish banks were/are indeed involved in the financing arrangement, then I would like the Commission to decide to act [and tell us what it is going to do] under its competition law and state aid responsibilities, if the treaties allow for it, of course."

In January, website Football Leaks published documents detailing the star's transfer in 2013 which state the world-record figure paid by Madrid to Tottenham.

It is claimed the Santiago Bernabeu club parted with EUR100,759,418 for Bale - more than the EUR94m fee paid for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 - despite their previous insistence that Bale's deal cost closer to EUR91.59m.