Spanish league wants dialogue to avert player strike

Tue Apr 6, 2010 12:06pm GMT

BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - Spain's professional soccer league (LFP) has called for calm and dialogue to avert possible industrial action later this month by the players' union (AFE) over unpaid wages.

The AFE said on Monday they wanted a "grand pact for soccer" between players, clubs, the federation and the government that would satisfy their demands or they would stage a strike across the top four tiers of the league between April 16-19.

If it goes ahead, the action would affect the matches between La Liga leaders Real Madrid and third-placed Valencia and champions Barcelona and city rivals Espanyol, among others.

The LFP said in a statement on Tuesday such a move would damage the credibility of Spanish soccer, hurt clubs and players and place additional strain on a calendar that was already tight because of this year's World Cup.

"We are convinced that with calm, dialogue and compromise from all concerned we can avoid such negatives," they added.

Under new president Luis Rubiales, the AFE is taking a more aggressive approach to helping players get cash they are owed by financially struggling clubs, especially those in the third and fourth tiers of Spanish soccer.


Spiralling wage and transfer costs have tipped many clubs into the red and second division side Albacete, currently one spot above the relegation places, became the latest to go into administration on Monday.

Rubiales is a former player at Valencia-based Levante and helped organise industrial action over unpaid wages in the 2007/08 season when they were in Spain's top division.   Continued...

<p>Barcelona's Pedro Rodriguez (C) celebrates with team mates Yaya Toure (L) and Thierry Henry after scoring against VfB Stuttgart during their Champions League last 16, second leg soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona March 17, 2010. REUTERS/Albert Gea</p>
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