Spain already gearing up for return to action

HOPEFUL: La Liga chief Javier Tebas

Kevin Palmer

Spanish football chiefs have made tentative plans to resume La Liga matches as early as the end of May, with all parties pushing to ensure the current season is concluded.

With Spain still operating under a government lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus that has hit the country hard in recent weeks, La Liga president Javier Tebas has opened the debate on a potential return for the sport next month.

Tebas has suggested that Spanish clubs will lose up to £1billion if the current season is cancelled, as he suggested talks have taken place that could see games resume sooner than expected.

"Of all the different scenarios we have been looking at with Uefa to go back to competing, the most probable ones are 28 May, 6 June or 28 June," he said.

"We can't say an exact date. This will be given to us by the authorities in Spain, but we still have time to get back to training before that.

"A protocol is being drafted by three medical teams over the last two weeks for a return to training which involves the possibility of doing coronavirus tests and isolation in dressing rooms. When? We can't say at the moment. The Spanish medical authorities will tell us. There is a state of alarm until 26 April and we will not start training until that point at the very earliest.

"None of the big or medium leagues are considering terminating the season. Not returning is not an option we are thinking about at all.

"We will look at other scenarios as they occur, especially when we see what happens in April. We think we can finish in August; we think that's viable. Uefa made a big effort to enable us to optimise the dates.

"The last business that will return to normal are theatres, cinemas, shows that people attend. We are an industry like that too but we can also restart part of our activity without people because the fundamental part of our income comes from TV.

"So, it's not a case of us getting special treatment; it's that when we return, we will be able to do so in a way that allows us to exploit part of our business.

"I think that's our obligation and the obligation of the government too as we're talking about an industry that accounts for 1.37% of GDP and which directly and indirectly creates 180,000 jobs. We shouldn't just look at this as players and teams; this is an industry."


As he assessed the commercial damage caused to the Spanish game by the Covid-19, Tebas offered up a bleak financial bill that could face all clubs unless matches in the current season are plated.

"If we are looking at the economic impact, including the money we would get from European competitions, the revenue Spanish clubs would miss out on if we don't get back playing again is 1bn euros. If we do get playing but without spectators, it would be 300m," he added.

"Even if we get back to playing with spectators, the damage this situation has already caused would be €150million."