Friday 30 September 2016

Spanish court rules against allowing a Primera Liga strike take place

Published 14/05/2015 | 14:45

Barcelona are on course for a treble
Barcelona are on course for a treble

A Spanish court has decided against allowing a proposed football strike to take place before the end of the season.

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The Spanish Football League (LFP) filed a a lawsuit against the Spanish professional footballers' union (AFE) over their plans to halt football from Saturday onwards over a dispute regarding government interference in the league's television rights.

And after Wednesday's preliminary hearing in Madrid, the high court has ruled in favour of the LFP.

A statement from the court read: "The Spanish Court has accepted the preliminary measure requested by the Spanish Football League (LFP) and it suspends the proposed strike called by the Spanish Footballers' Union (AFE) for the next two rounds of games.

"In the ruling, the magistrates made it a condition of the suspension of the strike that the LFP deposited a bond of five million euros."

According to the 22-page dossier written by the president of the high court, Ricardo Bodas, there is evidence the strike is "illegal", as the LFP had claimed.

The suspension of all competitions in Spain would, according to the dossier, cause "grave disorder in terms of organisation" and it would make it "very difficult to meet the international obligations that Spain and its clubs have."

Moreover, it would affect the "holidays of the players."

AFE had stated that players have the right to strike and to be prevented from doing so would be a violation of their constitutional rights.

However, the judge claimed the exercise of the right to strike is "not absolutely binding" because if allowed it would damage "clearly the right of the legal protection of the plaintiff (Spanish Football League)."

At the heart of the dispute is a proposed law which will force the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to sell television rights for the Primera Division collectively instead of individually, as is currently the case.

Under the proposed legislation, which has the full backing of the LFP, the Spanish FA would be awarded 4.55 per cent of pools revenue from the government, a figure the federation deems inadequate.

The RFEF announced last week it would suspend all competition in the country from Saturday onwards and has the support of the players' union, which is unhappy at being left out of the negotiations as well as with its own lack of revenue from the deal.

In Tuesday's conciliation meeting, which no member of the Spanish FA attended, the AFE and the LFP failed to reach an agreement.

Had the strike gone ahead, the final two rounds of the Primera Division scheduled for this weekend and next would have been affected as well as the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao on May 30.

Barcelona lead the La Liga standings by four points over Real Madrid.

On Sunday, Barca travel to the Vicente Calderon to face Atletico Madrid while Real Madrid are facing Espanyol in Barcelona.

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