First it was the NFL, then the NBA and now Spanish soccer’s top division (known as La Liga) is facing serious labor strife. OK, now this is just getting ridiculous.
The start of La Liga’s season is now in jeopardy as the players are seeking a new collective bargaining agreement. Luis Rubiales, the head of the Spanish soccer players union (AFE) held a press conference today to announce that players from Spain’s First and Second Division will go on strike for the first two weeks of the season.
Iker Casillas, who is Spain’s goalkeeper and plays for Real Madrid was emphatic that the players are serious. “I can assure you that we won’t play until a new agreement is signed,” Casillas told Spanish sports newspaper AS.
More than 100 players were present at the press conference to show solidarity. Clearly they mean business.
With how much money soccer brings in to the club owners in Spain and the fact that teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid are going to be in serious contention for a Champions League title this year, the players need to be on the field. The owners are almost certain to move quickly on this to try and resolve the issues.
The first games of the season are scheduled for August 21, which means the owners and players have 10 days to hammer out a new CBA before they all start losing game checks.
The clock is ticking.