Competition news


20 Aug 2011
No major advances in the negotiations between the clubs and the players, the strike continues though both parties have made optimistic comments on the issue. In the end the strike could be cleared before Tuesday.

The Spanish Players Association (AFE) and La Liga authorities (LFP) had a long meeting on Friday; it lasted four hours, but there were no major advances in order to dismiss the strike that began early on the same day.  What both sides are negotiating is a new collective contract, and the main point of discussion is how to guarantee the player’s wages. Currently the clubs on administration are dragging a debt of 50 million Euros with 200 players.

Despite the lack of agreement the true is that there was less tension than on Wednesday, day in which the strike was ratified. The negotiations will continue on Saturday and Monday; a good sign was that after the meeting nobody accused the other of anything, instead the speeches were pretty optimistic. Actually the Spanish media understands that it is very probable that the strike will be lifted before next weekend.

Luis Gil, one of the members of the AFE, told to reporters that, “It was a long meeting, but the positions remain distant. At least in this occasion there was a proposition over the desk, something that didn’t happen in the previous meeting. We now have to valorize the offer; the true is that we had advanced.”

Meanwhile, the president of the LFP, José Luis Astiazarán, told to reporters that, “The players have the right to make a strike. We have talked and the dialogue is always positive. We are currently trying to reach an agreement. “

For the moment it isn’t know what games would be played on next weekend in case the strike is lifted; there is the choice to start the Primera and Segunda tournaments from matchday 02 and to rescheduled matchday 01 for December 27 and 28, but so far the proposition hasn’t been discussed by the LFP and the AFE, which will surely create a new conflict as those dates were reserved for vacations. It was even commented that the AFE could be trying to cancel permanently matchday 01 as it understands that it goes against the strike, though the LFP denies this possibility.

The strike has been fulfilled in different ways at the clubs; the AFE told to its members to not attend to work between Friday and Monday; at Primera División the players of Malaga CF, Rayo Vallecano, Granada, Racing Santander and Real Betis trained for the last time on Thursday and will return until Tuesday, RCD Espanyol will stop for three days, while UD Levante, RCD Mallorca, Getafe, Osasuna, Real Sociedad, Sporting Gijón and Real Zaragoza will only rest on Saturday and Sunday.

Valencia is only resting on Saturday, while Barcelona, Real Madrid, Villarreal CF, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao are planning to train during the whole weekend, the last four clubs have to face on mid-week the second-legs of their European ties. Barcelona is even trying to play a friendly match on Monday.

At Segunda División the situation is similar; only Villarreal B and Barcelona B won’t attend the strike, while the remaining twenty teams are at least taking two days off. FC Cartagena, Deportivo, Celta, Hércules, Huesca, Las Palmas, Murcia, Numancia and Xérez will only stop for Saturday and Sunday. Alcorcón, Alcoyano, Córdoba, Elche, Gimnástic and Sabadell will also take Monday as a free day, while UD Almeria, Girona, Recreativo, Guadalajara and Real Valladolid are taking off the full period.

 Deportivo’s players are joining the strike on Saturday and Sunday, and will return to train on Monday. On Friday they worked at Abegondo in a short tactical session, while the probable rival for next weekend; Recreativo de Huelva, is taking the four days off, so the players will return to train until Tuesday. Recreativo is currently one of the Spanish clubs on administration and has a dispute with its players as the administrators are trying to cut the players’ wages.

On Friday coach José Luis Oltra talked to reporters; during the week he was supporting the decision of the players, but during the press conference he was unhappy as the AFE didn’t allow him to have the friendly game that he wanted for the weekend, “I said before that I was supporting the measure, but now I perceive that there is disorganization on here; I wanted to play a friendly game and train during the weekend… I respect their decision, and now some are making the strike for the full four days, while others don’t. And we don’t even know when we’re going to play. We return on Monday, but don’t know if we are going to play on next weekend or even against whom or where. It isn’t the same to play on Saturday than to do it on Sunday.” He complained.



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