MADRID:  Real Madrid and Barcelona will be forced to share a large amount of their TV revenue after a new Spanish law was approved by the government for the league’s television rights to be sold collectively.

The new law, which will come into effect in 2016, brings the deal in line with the current rights agreement in the English Premier League and Italian Serie A, meaning Real Madrid and Barcelona can no longer negotiate separate TV rights deals.

The news will be met positively by many Spanish top flight clubs, who have been requesting the TV rights format to be changed and spread more evenly.

Sports Minister Ignacio Wert estimated that revenues could double from the present €755m-a-year and would enable clubs to put their finances on a sound footing while also wiping out debts to the tax and social security authorities in line with UEFA’s financial fair play strictures.

Almost half the revenues would be distributed equally between all the clubs, with 25pc being awarded on the basis of leagues position and a further 25pc on ‘social’ grounds.

At the moment Barcelona and Madrid swallow up TV cash on a 7:1 ratio compared with the rest of the league. A transition arrangement would see this reduced to 4.5:1 and then 3.5:1. The terms of the law guarantee that no club should end of receiving less than they do now.

Miguel Cardenal, the head of Spain’s sports council, said the changes will allow the country to “adapt to modern times.”

He added: “You just have to see that last year the club that came last in the Premier League earned more than [Spanish champions] Atletico Madrid,” Cardenal said.