AFE President announces decision to strike across first two weekends of La Liga

The President of the Spanish Footballers’ Assosciation (AFE) Luis Rubiales, has announced in a Press conference today the intention to call a strike for the first two weekends of the 2011-12 Primera Division.

“The players have come together and said we’ve had enough. AFE and players from the Primera and Segunda Division take the responsible decision of a firm and unanimous call to strike for the first two days of the Spainsh football season. The League will not start until a new collective agreement is reached,” Rubiales stated in the wake of talks with the Spanish League (LFP) that broke down on Monday.

The likes of Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol, Juan Mata, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Garcia, Santi Cazorla and Fernando Llorente were listed by AS as among the 100 or so footballers who turned up to the latest meeting in Madrid to support their union.

Details of the talks between the AFE and LFP centre on such things as classification of international breaks as either holiday or paid by the clubs, image rights for players, and the protection of players that do not get paid.

Rubiales went on to say: “We denounce the failure of the clubs to honour contracts, every day there are more. €50m owed to more than 200 players over the years, with €12m owed to 100 players last season. The players agreed to continue the League last season on the commitment that this would not happen again, but it has.

“The situation is lamentable. They have not respected the values of the sport, we are not demanding more money, we just want to see contracts fulfilled, to ensure debt is paid and that football remains a healthy competition.

“We do not want palliative measures. We have proposed – as it exists in other countries – the introduction of preventative measures to ensure it does not happen again. When a club doesn’t pay, it isn’t allowed to compete. We have asked players that are owed three months’ wages to be able to break their contract, but that has been left out.”

It is estimated La Liga clubs failed to pay as much as €22m worth of wages last year, added to the €20m from the year before.

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