Spain’s professional league (LFP) have started legal action to prevent the suspension of the final two La Liga match days. The LFP and Spain’s football federation (RFEF) have been involved in a disagreement with the government on a new law on collective bargaining for TV rights. A law was agreed last week, with the backing of the professional football league (LFP), which aims to create a more level playing field for clubs in Spain’s top two divisions by sharing out TV cash more equitably.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), and its influential president Angel Maria Villar, as well as the players’ union (AFE) have come out against the new rules and both organisations have backed a halt to competition right across the sport. The final two matchdays in La Liga would both be affected, as well as the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at the end of the month. In a statement late on Wednesday, the LFP said the RFEF’s decision was legally “invalid” and that it had initiated “the appropriate action with the pertinent administrative and legal bodies” to overturn it. Spanish law gave the LFP the right to organise professional competition and set the calendar for matches, the league argued, and called for those involved in voting for a suspension to be subjected to disciplinary measures. “The LFP wishes to reiterate the importance of the royal decree approved by the Spanish government and emphasise its importance as an historic milestone for Spanish soccer,” the LFP said. After a board meeting on Wednesday, the RFEF accused the government of a “lack of respect” and complained it had not been consulted properly on the TV law. The new regulations replace the current system under which rights are sold by individual clubs and could lead to a sharp price increase for broadcasters once it takes effect from the 2016-17 season. The status quo heavily favours Real Madrid, the world’s wealthiest club by income, and rivals Barcelona and, while the new set-up will still favour the biggest and most successful clubs, it will do so to a slightly lesser extent.