Players’ strike postpones La Liga fixtures

The AFE and LFP could not reach an agreement in time for strike to be averted

La Real's Anoeta Stadium will be empty Monday  (

La Real's Anoeta Stadium will be empty Monday

Atlético fans will have to wait at least one more week before they can watch their club kick off the 2011/12 league campaign.

The AFE (Spanish Professional Footballers’ Union) and the LFP (Spanish Professional Football League) failed to reach an agreement Friday in their dispute over unpaid players’ wages, so all week one matches have been cancelled as the players will proceed with their planned strike.

The players’ union wants more guarantees from the league that footballers at clubs under financial administration will receive compensation.

According to the AFE, roughly €50 million is owed to over 200 players in the first and second divisions of Spain.

The players have proposed to the league an emergency fund to cover wages in the event that a club becomes insolvent and is unable to meet payroll.

LFP officials initially agreed to the idea, but only offered to put up €10 million a year, an amount well short of what the AFE would deem acceptable.

“This is not about making more money,” AFE president José Luis Rubiales said.

“We are not demanding more, we are demanding only that players get paid what it says in their contracts.”

The strike has been called for the first two weeks of fixtures, but it is unclear if an agreement will be reached before the second round of games.

Guardian reporter Sid Lowe wrote on Friday, the strike “may be extended further: there has been talk of an indefinite stoppage. There have been many strike threats, including two last season alone. The surprise is that this one will go ahead.

“For the first time in 27 years, a players’ strike would happen in Spain.”

What this means for Atleti is that their match against Real Sociedad, scheduled for this upcoming Monday, will likely be pushed back to the Christmas Break.

The strike could be a blessing in disguise for los Rojiblancos though, as the team awaits the presentation of latest signing Radamel Falcao.

The striker will now almost certainly be available to head coach Gregorio Manzano for the league opener, which could take place on Sunday the 28th against Osasuna at the Vicente Calderón; should the AFE and LFP work out their differences before then.

The Atleti manager will be happy to take a well-rested squad to Portugal for Thursday’s Europa League play-off second leg match against Vitória.

Let us know how you feel about the strike. Do you think the players are justified in sitting out this weekend?

  • Idan

    one more week? sucks man..

  • Mais

    I was planning on going to the osasuna match! Hopefully this works itself out by then

  • Mark

    Sucks in general. But good for us. Gives us at least a week with our team to work everything out. Longer pre-season will help us. I don’t expect any one else to join, so hope we can build from here with what we have. Don’t want forlan to go but wouldn’t be surprised if he left. The squad we are building certainly has potential to go places. Maybe a dominant midfielder away from making a proper go of the league. Or am I just drunk?

  • Ringo

    I’m getting a positive vibe from this Atleti, but I’ve had my good feelings before, so I’m scared that this season will prove to be another failure… even though Quique is gone (Winning EL doesn’t make finishing 11th any better, it’s just nice because there’s finally a new prize, I’m not really wanting to give Quique much credit for it…)

    So waiting till 10 (or so) games are played to know what to hope for.

  • amed9ja

    I hate all things related to strike but i think the strike is justify cos being paid your salary it makes you feel good and do your job prety well. It wil make the league even better. Hopely the league resume next week.

  • Flo

    In my eyes the strike is definitely justified. It cannot be true that for example players from Rayo didn’t get paid for a year! In england and germany a team won’t get their licence to take part in the league if it isn’t 100% guaranteed that the club can pay the full amount of their players wages. This should be fixed in the spanish league very soon.

  • Gert

    Just to be clear. No fixtures will be moved right, eg, if I want to go to ATL – BAR in February, the fixture remains the same?


  • Martin Rosenow

    That’s right Gert. The schedule is to remain the same.