A top EU court annulled a 2016 European Commission decision ordering Real Madrid to pay Spain $20.4 million after it had deemed a real estate refund as illegal state aid.
"The Commission could not classify the disputed measure as state aid, as it did not sufficiently demonstrate that it conferred ani advantage to the plaintiff," the ruling of the General Court of the European Union stated.
On July 2016, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager explained that the club and the Madrid City Hall were involved in an illegal transaction involving the sale of municipal land.
In 1998, the club paid $662,535 for the land but, for technical reasons, the sale transaction did not come through so the authorities paid $25.2 million to Real Madrid as a compensation 13 years later.
However, a Barcelona firm assigned by the commission noted that only $4.7 million should have been paid given that the amount paid to the club overvalued the land for $20.4 million.
The club made an appeal against this decision in October 2016.