Call to probe Bale's move over funding

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates a goal with team mate Gareth Bale (right).
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates a goal with team mate Gareth Bale (right).PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID • Three members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have written to the European Commission asking them to investigate Gareth Bale's world-record transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid in 2013 on accusations of illegal state aid.

British conservative Daniel Dalton, Belgian vice-chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Sander Loones, and Ramon Termosa, of the Spanish Convergencia party, have raised concerns that Spanish banks bailed out by European taxpayers provided guarantees for the transfer fee.

A leaked report from whistle-blowing website Football Leaks revealed last month that Bale cost in excess of €100 million (S$155.7 million at the current exchange rate), despite Real previously insisting that the deal was worth €91 million.

"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 form signed by all three MEPs on Wednesday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2016, with the headline 'Call to probe Bale's move over funding'. Print Edition | Subscribe