Here they are some La Liga bureaucrats not budging on players’ demands to put into place a plan to pay the futbolistas who have the unfortunate reality of having signed for a club that cannot manage itself enough to pay them. As no deal was reached by the end of negotiations today, the strike will suspend the first day of La Liga and threatens to push the start even farther back in the case that more sitting around tables with small microphones fails on Friday. These men look like they’re enjoying themselves, and they have said little to make me hopeful that any concessions are around the corner. Aside from calling the strike “unjustified,” LFP president Astiazarán has felt “deceived” by the AFE (Asociación de Futbolistas Españolas). Players gone unpaid should feel deceived as well as fans. It’s been several years running that we’ve wondered when, if ever, La Liga’s staggering debt would be a practical and not imaginary stumbling block for the actual product. Looks like today is that when.
Here at MM, we have some mixed feelings about the strike. On the one hand, most businesses declare bankruptcy when they cannot fulfill the basic obligation to pay their workers. That so many clubs have been allowed to exist in this state without serious intervention or consequences coming from the LFP is maddening. It starts with better business practices. On the other hand, these teams are being so financially shortchanged by the practice of individually-negotiated TV contracts, it’s no wonder they struggle to meet their financial obligations. When Osasuna makes €13M a year from their TV contract and the EPL’s Stoke City makes €41M in the same year in EPL’s collective deal, it’s not hard to imagine why smaller clubs in Spain struggle to stay financially solvent and to keep fulfilling their financial obligations.
Better business? Necessary. More equitable distribution of TV money? Imperative.
Forzafutbol lead me to Ligajusta, a site dedicated to fighting for a more just and competitive league. There I found this helpful chart, which appears to be from two seasons ago. Read at your own anger: