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Athletic Bilbao fans. Photo: David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Europe's midseason soccer transfer window just opened, giving clubs at the top of the table one last chance to splurge on talent — and clubs at the bottom of the table one last chance to improve and avoid relegation. One of the latter clubs is former Spanish powerhouse Athletic Bilbao, which finds itself in 17th place (out of 20) in Spain's top league, La Liga.

The intrigue: Bilbao is flush with cash (200 million euros in reserves) and could certainly use some new talent, but unlike almost every team it competes against, the club has strict rules about who that money can be spent on.

  • "[Bilbao] is a throwback," writes the NYT's Tariq Panja. "Tradition dictates that it can only field players who were born [or raised] in the Basque Country — territory that includes seven provinces that stretch from northern Spain into France."
  • "[W]ith its flush coffers and narrowed options, [Bilbao] has become soccer's poor little loaded club."

The big picture: Bilbao has been a member of La Liga since its inception in 1929 and has never been relegated — an accomplishment it shares with only Barcelona and Real Madrid.

  • With just two points separating them from third-to-last place Villareal, the danger of Bilbao's streak being snapped is suddenly quite real as the bottom three clubs get relegated.

Go deeper

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.