La Liga dispute heads to court

A Madrid court is preparing to hear arguments for and against industrial action that could lead to the postponement of next weekend’s La Liga matches. The Spanish professional football league (LPF) have threatened to suspend the 30th round of matches on April 2/3 in an attempt to force the government to scrap a rule that one La Liga game per weekend should be shown on freeview television.

With talks failing and strike action looming, six clubs, known as the G-6 and including heavyweights Sevilla and Villarreal, have broken ranks and filed a legal challenge to try to have the move declared void. They believe a strike would be “disproportionate, inopportune, against the interest of clubs, the competition and supporters and against the law”.

The LFP argue that removing the obligation to show one match for free will strengthen clubs’ bargaining power in negotiations on audiovisual rights with media firms. It also wants guarantees about how much cash clubs are entitled to receive from betting and lottery revenue.

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