The Spanish Professional Footballers’ Union (AFE) and Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) have begun their latest meeting in a bid to find a solution to avert strike action for the opening two rounds of the new Spanish season.
The AFE announced last week that players from the top two divisions would go on strike for the first two weeks of the 2011/12 season – scheduled to begin this weekend – unless an agreement with the LFP was reached over the issue of unpaid wages.
The AFE want a guaranteed fund to protect players’ wages in the event of their clubs being declared insolvent.
The two parties had talks in Madrid on Wednesday but no agreement was reached and they have met again this morning. Further talks are also planned for tomorrow and Monday if there are no developments today.
The Primera Division season was due to begin tomorrow, with Sunday’s games including champions Barcelona going to Malaga and Real Madrid hosting Athletic Bilbao, while the Segunda Division was meant to begin this evening with a fixture between Villarreal B and Hercules.
Espanyol captain Luis Garcia was quoted as saying by El Mundo Deportivo yesterday: “The time had come for all the players to unite. The players have said enough is enough.
“We aren’t asking for more money, only that the contracts that have been signed are fulfilled. Either this is resolved once and for all or we don’t play. We cannot continue like this.”
Meanwhile, Real Zaragoza striker Ikechukwu Uche told the BBC’s African sports programme Fast Track: “Not all the players are owed, but there is solidarity. I don’t think the strike is good for anybody – it’s not good for us, it’s not good for the federation, it’s not good for the fans.
“”We had expected that we were going to start [the league] this weekend but we can’t – they have to resolve the issues. “Once they have resolved everything, then we will start,” added the Nigeria international.