The Spanish Footballers Union has vote to strike today as negotiations on a the terms of a new contract with the Spanish League broke down. The strike is set to interfere with the opening rounds of the coming season if the players’ union (AFE) and Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) cannot reach a collective bargaining agreement, AFE president Luis Manuel Rubiales said today.
The sticking point in the negotiations revolves around the AFE’s desire to set up a guaranteed fund to protect players’ wages in the event of their clubs going bankrupt, a real possibility for many since the financial crisis. Essentially, the league do not wanto thave to set up this fund as they, not the clubs, would be liable ot pay players wages in the event of a club going under.
Rubiales stated that:”The footballers are united and have said enough is enough. The AFE and all the players from the Primera and Segunda Division have taken the unanimous and firm decision to call a strike for the first and second week of the season. There will be no league until a new collective agreement is signed.”
If a strike were to come to fruition it would be a disaster for already hard pressed clubs that can barely makes ends meet as even Real Madrid have put up Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract as collateral on a bailout loan they recently required. Only Barcelona, with its freshly minted sponsorship deal with the Qatari Foundation, would be safe if a strike were to occur. Hopefully this strike can be averted, as any stoppage in play, and therefore revenue from soccer jerseys and ticket sales, may bring about the very situation players are trying to avoid, their clubs folding, and them not getting paid.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
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