Tension in LaLiga over the possibility of strike action. As Spanish newspaper El Mundo revealed and has been confirmed by AS, Spanish soccer could be stopped by a strike that the First and Second Division clubs are considering as a protest measure against a change in approach from the right-wing opposition party, the Partido Popular, and the left-wing socialist-led Government in the drafting of a new Sports Law.
This Monday will be a key day. The presidents of the Delegate Commission (representing Atlético Madrid, Levante, Sevilla, Betis, Real Sociedad, Cádiz, Getafe, Villarreal, Tenerife, Alavés, Eibar, Las Palmas, Lugo and Huesca) will attend, along with Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, a summit with Miquel Iceta, Minister of Culture and Sports, and José Manuel Franco, president of the National Sports Council.
The possibility of the introduction of the Superliga (backed by Real Madrid and Barcelona), television rights and the share of power between the clubs and the Federation are three of the fronts on which the LaLiga clubs are taking positions.
The presidents of the teams consider that their opinion is not being taken into account and only the president of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, is being heard. “The Sports Law is being done by Florentino Pérez”, they told this newspaper. The clubs predict an increase in judicial clashes (more than what has been experienced in recent years) and fear that their economic stability is in danger due to this situation. The reason is the withdrawal of seven amendments presented by the PP, which had been requested by LaLiga and with which the socialist PSOE initially agreed.
Clubs believe Real Madrid have swayed the drafting of the new Sports Law
The problem arose just over a week ago when the right-wing PP party, led by Feijoo, withdrew these amendments in the face of what the clubs understand to be pressure from Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid. “They were negotiating with us and suddenly they told us that they had to listen to the other side. They give more importance to the opinion of one club than to that of the other 41 teams. The Sports Law has been changed by Florentino Pérez”, assure sources of the negotiations, consulted by AS.
With these amendments, the LaLiga clubs requested protection for Spanish football in the face of the possibility of the Superliga being launched, whose president is also Florentino Pérez. The intention of the clubs was to deny licenses to play in LaLiga to the clubs that participated in the Superliga (which would exclude Real Madrid and Barcelona from the Spanish top flight). On the other hand, explicit recognition was also requested in the draft Sports Law in relation to LaLiga’s marketing rights. The great cash cow of Spanish football. The main source of income for most LaLiga teams and an issue on which Real Madrid has also clashed with Tebas. It is feared that without said amendment that includes this recognition, legal uncertainty could be created that could even jeopardize the 50-year agreement between LaLiga Impulso and investment fund CVC.
Power of Spanish FA also a point of concern for LaLiga clubs
There is a third point that worries the clubs and it is the growing power of the Federation with the drafting of the Sports Law. Currently, a report has been requested from LaLiga regarding any change that the RFEF wants to make in the statutes, to be approved via the National Sports Council. In the current wording, this report would not be requested from the clubs. What they understand leaves them helpless and at the sole discretion of the FA, with the two sides battling in court over a number of issues (Monday and Friday matches, LaLiga Impulso, Plan Miami…).
This Monday’s meeting at the Sports Ministry will be key for Spanish football. All the presidents of the clubs that make up the Delegated Commission will attend. They are the ones who have had the initiative and who claim that this is not a Tebas vs Florentino situation, but rather that they want to send the message that it is Spanish football in general against the new wording of the Sports Law. If they are not listened to, once the economic consequences have been analyzed at the next LaLiga Assembly, the possibility of a strike is a highly possible.