La Liga to be suspended for final two rounds

Matchday 37 and 38, as well as the Copa del Rey final, are set to be affected due to the dispute concerning a new law on television rights

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has announced there will be a strike due to a dispute with the government concerning television rights.

New legislation was passed last week aimed at creating a more balanced distribution of rights money across the top-flight clubs in Spain.

Under old laws, Barcelona and Real Madrid earned three times as much as other clubs in the Primera Division as they were able to negotiate the sale of their own broadcasting rights, but the Spanish government gave the green light to a new ruling which would see 50 per cent of TV money distributed evenly across the 20 top-flight teams.

However, the RFEF and president Angel Maria Villar, as well as the players’ union, have come out in opposition to the new ruling and backed a hiatus in competitive matches.

Following a meeting on Wednesday, the RFEF published a statement in which they alleged they had not been consulted properly over the changes and complained of a “lack of respect” on the part of the government.

“Problems with amateur football have not been resolved and there were no efforts made by the Minister of Education, Culture and Sports to find a solution during the last three months,” the statement reads.

“Royal Decree-Law 5/2015, of April 30, has received the express support of the RFEF repeatedly. We want to make clear that our most important complaints didn’t affect the economic benefits for the clubs, the league, or football in general.

“Unlike other organisations, the RFEF never received the draft of the law, as we had asked, with the intention of offering contributions so as to improve it. Only at the last moment did they offer us partial information on a fraction of the data.

“This attitude, together with the contents of the law, have been considered by the board of directors of the RFEF as a lack of respect and consideration towards the governing body of the whole of Spanish football, which has been ignored and negated by the government of Spain.”

The RFEF also confirmed that the Association for Spanish Footballers (AFE) had confirmed their desire to call a strike.

The decision means the final two rounds of La Liga action, in which Barcelona and Real Madrid are poised to continue their fight for the title, are set to be suspended, along with the Copa del Rey final between Luis Enrique’s side and Athletic Bilbao.

Competition is due to be suspended beginning May 16, the date Barcelona had been set to face reigning champions Atletico Madrid.