Competition news

NEW MENACE OF A STRIKE

24 Mar 2011
If some weeks ago the players were menacing with a strike as a way to push for a new collective contract, now the Spanish clubs are the ones that want to stop the competition ahead of the next matchday; the reason: the television and the bets.

New menace of a strike in la liga, but this time it isn’t coming from the players association, but from the Spanish clubs themselves. The reason is the money. First to all, in Spain the government created a law in 1997 called “law of general interest”. This law forces to telecast the events described as of a “big public interest”, which includes sporting events like football. Since that year the television must broadcast at least one liga match for free in each one of the 38 matchdays on the season.

The clubs understand that this “intromission” is touching their bank accounts as these matches for free are rested for their juicy TV incomes, and with the crisis just around the corner (the clubs owe 694 million Euros to the national treasury) the clubs are now searching for any new source of money in order to survive.

The problem also involves the situation with the sporting bets, the clubs are convinced that they deserve part of the big incomes generated with the football bets; the Spanish government has promised a 2% of the money generated by this source, but so far nothing has been materialized.

So, at the beginning of 2011, la liga association (LFP) agreed to push the government to abolish this law and concrete the offer of the bets, and menaced with a strike for matchday 30 if the authorities don’t accept the demands. On this week there was a meeting between the 20 Primera clubs, and 13 of them have confirmed the strike for the next matchday, among the presidents supporting the measure is Augusto César Lendoiro.

The seven clubs that aren’t supporting the measure are: Sevilla FC, Villarreal FC, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Real Zaragoza, RCD Espanyol and Málaga FC. These clubs announced that they will ask the Spanish Federation (RFEF) to block the strike, but the LFP already announced that the RFEF can’t do anything as the tournament is organized by the LFP.

At this point the LFP is waiting for a reaction on next week coming from the government, if that reaction doesn’t occur then the strike will take place, and it will mean to postpone matchdays 30 at Primera and matchday 32 at Segunda, both matchdays will be moved one week, which means that the tournaments will end two weeks later compared to the current calendar, it will also mean that next season won’t start on August 21 as it was announced before.

And the postures are very different; the president of la liga, José Luis Astiazarán has said that the strike will only be suspended if the Spanish government publicly express a compromise to resolve the problems, but the representative of the government, Jaime Lissavetzky already denied this, “We already made all we can and now this is a petition out of time; it is coming one year after the latest revision to the law of television. We can’t accept pressure in order to change the subject.” He said.

Finally, president Lendoiro talked to reporters about this subject and assured that there will be a strike in la liga, “After 25 years there will be a break in la liga. We will have a lot of days without football. I will love to have more equality; or coffee for everybody or nothing. Football is not comparable to any other business, perhaps only Madrid and Barcelona are above this rule, but there’s no business for the rest of clubs.”

“As example, all the good work of Depor came down with the penalty of Djukic in 1994, and in other kinds of business this situation doesn’t occur. The teams going down are condemned to bankruptcy. Then people talk of a bad administration, but when you pass for incomes of forty million to just ten, keeping the same obligations, then it’s difficult to go ahead.” He added.

ARCHIVE NEWS MARCH/11

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