La Liga looks to follow in Premier League’s footsteps to increase the brand power with new proposals

Away from on-the-pitch matters, the Spanish League (LFP) and Spanish Players’ Association (AFE) are set on a collision course as to the future of the Spanish game with the main points of discussion being fixtures over the Christmas period and the creation of an organisation that will oversee financial transactions. It would appear that the LFP is looking to get AFE onside with a concerted effort to enhance the global brand of the Spanish game.

Negotiations have begun over such proposals and it is clear that the LFP favours removing the existing winter break as the period is viewed as financially lucrative for all parties with possible greater ticket revenue and enhanced commercial opportunities.

The Premier League has been at the forefront of most brand development strategies in the global game and the LFP are clearly looking to rival the English juggernaut. The Premier League’s festive period is one of the highlights of the season with a plethora of games on offer and a captive audience due to the associated festivities of the period.

The AFE have been keen to reassert their defensive stance on this aspect of the LFP’s proposals with the winter break seen as an important resting period with the more gruelling latter stages of the season to come. The LFP’s counter-point has been that games being played over the festive period would alleviate fixture congestion over the course of the season and would create a more consistent campaign in general.

It is clear that with the impending application of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play that the LFP is keen to implement strategies that will be effective and compliant with the regulations while maximising revenue potential. What will have greater impact on this aspect is the proposed formation of an organisation that will oversee control of transfer fees as well as payments made to third parties.

Agent has been a buzzword that generically creates contempt within the football family but they are ultimately there to serve a purpose and with more stringent controls, fees paid to agents will be regulated and kept in line with other transactions. It will be interesting to see how much the AFE fights such a movement and will be a good indicator as to just where the power lies within the AFE.

Money as always talks and while the global economy continues its bleak period, it would appear it is more a case of principles at least at this early stage of negotiations. Issues between the LFP and AFE have been a predominant feature of the past year in particular. The issue of unpaid wages appears to have been partly resolved at least on a public level and the LFP is likely to use such a circumstance as an indicator of necessary change. Whether the AFE will want to be seen to recede and accept such terms so soon after the argument that caused the season’s opening fixtures to be postponed remains to be seen.

The financial situation that many La Primera clubs find themselves in can be alleviated by changes but it is ultimately a matter of principle as to whether or not they will be made. In all likelihood, changes will be made but the longer they go on without, clubs will only suffer off-the-pitch. Many observers would prefer it to be resolved swiftly and efficiently so focus can be maintained on where it should be: on the pitch. It would appear that for now, the LFP and AFE will continue to overshadow matters as they look to move Spanish football forward.

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