AFE and LFP agreement comes into effect: players unpaid for three months can now ask for the termination of their contracts

An agreement between the Spanish League (LFP) and the Spanish Footballers Association (AFE) will come into effect from Thursday, December 15, meaning that any players from first or second division clubs not having been paid for three months can now ask for their contracts to be terminated.

The agreement, signed on August 25 to call off a strike after the first round of league games were cancelled, will allow players owed money to appeal to a joint AFE-LFP committee when clubs default on monthly salary payments (whether consecutive or not) for a total of three months. The new ruling also takes into account money owed from previous seasons provided these debts equal or exceed the amount equivalent to three months salary, if the delays have been reported to the committee. This procedure can be implemented at any time of the season, when a player will be able to sign for another club in the same division, except for the last 10 days of the campaign or during the play-offs.

The decision is seen as evidence that clubs will now have to try and tighten their belts and not live beyond their means, as has been the case for many over the past few years. Now the problem is the ongoing negotiations for a collective agreement between the LFP and AFE, with clubs not in favour of the taking away of image rights, which the players are demanding.

A meeting is expected to be convened after the Christmas break, with a number of other issues still to be decided, but it is hoped an agreement can be reached without drastic action being taken, as occurred at the start of this season.

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