Spanish football will embark on an indefinite strike action proposed by the Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) because of a dispute over TV rights beginning from 16 May.
The final two weekends of domestic football in Spain is likely to be postponed- affecting 600,000 players and 30,000 matches including the La Liga and the Copa del Rey final- if the threat is sustained.
The Spanish football federation (RFEF), who has strongly backed its sister body, AFE, has called on the government to back down and redress a newly established royal decree, aimed at centralizing audiovisual broadcasting rights, before it could find its way to the parliament. The coaches in the top two divisions, the referees and all provincial FAs have as well joined the football association in calling for redress.
Under the new broadcasting rights act, AFE will receive just 0.5% of the share of revenues. Reports in Spain say president of the footballers’ association, Luis Rubiales, is against the controversial audiovisual act which was established by the government on 1 May.
AFE feels the decree puts women’s football and clubs in the third division (the Segunda B) ahead of the fraternity and the referees association. They also argue that the chunk of revenue from television rights allocated for women’s football and other sports is unrelated to football.
The RFEF are understandably unhappy with another aspect of the TV rights acts which removes competitions which previously were under their mandate, and will now be controlled by the LFP.
RFEF president Angel Maria Villar is expected to dialogue with the Spanish Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, Jose Ignacio Wert, in the coming days in a bid to discourage the government from going ahead with the TV broadcast rights act.
Perfectly put on the childish Spanish football civil war…all football suspended from 16 May. https://t.co/j5WxEaN5hp
— Andy West (@andywest01) May 6, 2015
Spanish football writer Andy West in a piece he wrote for the BBC Sport has likened the ongoing dispute to a power tussle between football association and the league body.