Spain’s High Court to Decide on League Strike on Thursday

Spanish Football fans will have to wait until Thursday to know if their favourite teams will see out the season as wcheduled, after Spain’s High Court announced on Wednesday that it will extend its ruling on an end-of-season strike action by a day.

The court heard arguments by lawyers of the Spanish footballers’ association (AFE) and the Professional football league (LFP).

The LFP, which presented its case first, reiterated that the strike called by the footballers’ association was illegal and “abusive” as it has clashed with league fixtures “which cannot be rescheduled.” It also claimed the the players’ organisation is bent on inciting Spanish football bodies against one another having served separate notices of strike action to the Interconfederal Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA), the LFP and the lawyers.

The LFP further questions why the strike notice had arrived at the league body’s headquarters on Sunday, 10 May, four days after the Spanish Football a Federation (RFEF) had announced suspension of domestic football for 16 May.

Spanish League Body Wants League Suspension to Be Overuled.
Spanish League Body Wants League Suspension to Be Overuled.

AFE responded by saying SIMA’s involvement was to act as arbiters and clarified that the strike notice had been passed in the evening of 10 May. The AFE hit back at the LFP for not posting a security bond- worth €5m- for preliminary injunction in line with Civil Procedure Rules.

The LFP, which controls the top two divisions including the La Liga, says it will suffer loss to the tune of €50m (£36m) per match day if the industrial action goes ahead.

The RFEF and the AFE are not happy about the new TV Rights decree, which introduced collective bargaining for domestic matches. Both bodies are threatening to halt Spanish football season should the LFP not revert to status quo.

Top players like Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and Barcelona Andreas Iniesta have backed the demands that larger share of broadcast revenue be channeled to smaller clubs, but AFE says “some clubs are putting pressure on their players.”

“The support from the players is unanimous,” AFE president Luis Rubiales countered.

The final two matches of the La Liga season and the Copa del Rey final, as well as matches in the Segunda Division will be affected should the bodies carry out their plans.