MADRID - Talks between the Spanish
football league (LFP) and the Spanish players' union (AFE) on
Wednesday failed to avert the strike action called for the start
of the 2011/12 season this weekend.
"We haven't reached any kind of agreement," LFP president
Jose Luis Astiazaran, whose organisation represents the 42
professional clubs in the top two divisions, told reporters
after the first meeting since the strike was invoked last week.
"The AFE have dug their heels in. There are important
differences but we will have to continue moving forward."
The Union have called a strike for the first two rounds of
matches in the top two leagues, which are scheduled to kick off
on Saturday, demanding greater protection for players' wages at
clubs who have gone into financial administration.
The Union have said at the end of last season around 50
million euros was owed to 200 players, and that a
proposed emergency fund of 40 million euros put forward by the
LFP was not enough.
Astiazaran continued: "We are in agreement on 80 percent of
the questions and it's a shame that for 20 percent we have found
ourselves in this situation.
"We have achieved much recently... however, it is impossible
for the first round of matches not to be affected by the
In a separate statement issued later, the league blasted:
"THIS STRIKE IS ABSOLUTELY UNJUSTIFIED but is also STERILE,
because the LFP has gone as far as it is able to."
Representing the AFE, Luis Gil said: "The league doesn't
want to bridge the gap. The biggest problem is that the players
want guarantees they are going to get paid because there are
more than 200 who are owed money.
"At present the AFE are not considering extending the strike
action beyond the second round of matches. We want the law
applied that clubs who do not pay should be relegated."
Neither Barcelona or Real Madrid, who face off in the second
leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Nou Camp later on Wednesday,
were prepared to make an official comment on the strike.
Valencia president Manuel Llorente told reporters: "It's a
decision by the players and I don't think it is adequate. There
are other ways to resolve this. What the AFE is asking is
impossible. It is going to be a very difficult negotiation."
Llorente said reform of the application of the law known as
'ley Concursal' in sport, whereby clubs can voluntarily go into
administration to seek protection from creditors, was the real
problem that needed addressing.
EASY WAY OUT
The judges appointed to administer the clubs can override
competition rules that could lead to a club being relegated for
failing to honour its commitments during the process.
Analysts have said clubs have abused the rules surrounding
ley concursal as an easy way out of their self-inflicted
difficulties and to avoid possible relegation.
A growing number of Spanish clubs have slipped into
financial difficulties recently.
Racing Santander were the latest La Liga side to seek
protection from creditors, joining Real Mallorca, Real Zaragoza
and the three promoted teams - Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano and
Granada - in administration.
A recent study by an accounting professor at Barcelona
University, Jose Maria Gay, showed the 20 top-flight clubs made
a combined net loss of some 100 million euros in the year to the
end of June 2010, up from 19 million the previous year.
The total debt at 3.43 billion euros was more than double
revenues of 1.61 billion euros.
Tony Pulis is set to leave Premier League side Stoke City
Manchester City and the New York Yankees have formed a new Major League Soccer team
Real Madrid president under scrutiny after latest coaching project ends in disarray
Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho will part company at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010