Competition news

THE NEWEST ON THE STRIKE

14 Aug 2011
On Tuesday there will be a crucial meeting between the AFE and the LFP; right now the main point of discussion is the fund to guarantee the players’ wages and the new rules for the clubs on administration.

The announcement of the strike in la liga for next week has caused a lot of reactions, other unions across Spain are supporting the Spanish Players Association (AFE), while la liga authorities (LFP) and almost all the presidents of the Primera clubs are criticizing the strike as they’re pointing out that it’s only a strategy to put more pressure in order to fulfill their demands. Curiously Lendoiro has said that it might be “positive” as it will push the Spanish clubs to modify the rules related to the clubs on administration.

The AFE called the strike as a way to denounce the lack of agreement for a new collective contract; the previous deal expired in June 30 and the negotiations for the new one are stuck since some weeks ago. The demands of the players are related to the image rights, the social security, the period of vacations and mainly the problems with the players’ wages at the club on administration.

On Saturday it was known that the Spanish government is pushing in order to force an agreement, the secretary for sports, Albert Soler, is now the main mediator between both parties. He was able to arrange a meeting between the president of the AFE, Luis Rubiales, and the one of the LFP, José Luis Astiazarán. That meeting could be crucial in order to lift the strike and will take place on Tuesday.

The Spanish clubs have stated that they won’t give up in their demands, but the true is that they are already giving some concessions; on Saturday Marca informed that the clubs are no longer trying to change the period of the Christmas vacations and neither want to modify the percentages for the image rights of the players.

But the clubs aren’t willing to raise the fund of €10 million destined to cover the players’ wages, amount that’s considered as not enough by the AFE. The players’ representatives also want to change the rules for the clubs on administration, which will relegate the clubs with big financial problems, while the LFP wants to delay the changes until 2012.

In any case there are good chances of lifting the strike before next weekend, even Rubiales is admitting that an agreement is at reach, as he said to Marca, “The true is that the new collective contract is already written, and we already agreed the terms of the 80% of the issues.”

MORE PROBLEMS
The strike isn’t the only current problem at the LFP; right now there’s a conflict with the radios as the clubs want to charge a fee for the radio coverage of the liga matches; the radios are refusing to negotiate as they denounce that their incomes are lower than the ones of the television companies. It was feared that the radios weren’t going to cover the liga matches, but for now all the companies assure that they will be there for the first matchday at Primera and Segunda División.

Another problem is the hours of the matches; the fans across Europe are upset with the matches that will be played at noon, early on the afternoon and the games on Sundays at 10PM, and now the regional federations are complaining too. The regional federations rule the competition of the lower leagues, which normally perform early on Saturday and Sunday in order to avoid a direct competition with professional football, but now that la liga is invading their frame, they fear a lesser coverage and a decreasing interest from the fans. Some of these federations are even menacing to not start their competitions if the LFP doesn’t change its marketing strategy.

ARCHIVE NEWS AUG/11

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