The Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) and the Spanish League (LFP) yesterday eventually agreed to end the players’ industrial action and recommence plans to start the Primera and Segunda seasons from what was originally Week 2’s fixtures.
The League is understood to have backed down on a number of the AFE’s demands, and are set to guarantee all of the €50m owed to players, and raise the wage guarantee fund for players in the future who find their salaries unpaid.
Speculation also surrounded when Week 1’s games would take place, with December 23 and 28 believed to be the most suitable dates, but for the fact they would require further agreement from the AFE to counter another point in the collective agreement, about playing into an otherwise designated holiday period.
Instead though, Week 1’s fixtures will now be moved to take the place of Week 20’s games on the weekend of January 21 and 22, and change from Week 1 to Week 19 – i.e. moving from originally being the season’s first game of the first round of fixtures, to the final game of the first round of fixtures. Week 2 in effect also becomes Week 1, and the first half of the season’s fixtures now finishes a week later.
Week 20’s originally scheduled games – that are the reverse fixtures to the postponed and now rearranged Week 1 games – will now be played on May 2, in one of the final free midweek slots towards the end of the season, and effectively become Week 36’s fixtures.
It means that in the season run-in, some teams – such as Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia – will face successive home games across the midweek of May 2 (Week 36) and weekend of May 5 and 6 (Week 37) and others – such as Real Madrid, Villarreal and Malaga – will face successive away fixtures.
The season kicks off this weekend with the below fixtures now taking the slot of Week 1:
Valencia – Racing Santander