Primera Division news

La Liga fixtures postponed by strike

August 19, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

The opening weekend of the 2011-12 Primera Division season will not go ahead after all ten top-flight fixtures were postponed due to a strike by players over wage payments.

Empty Bernabeu stadium
GettyImagesReal Madrid were supposed to be hosting Athletic Bilbao, but the Bernabeu will remain empty

• Alvarez: La Liga predictions

The Spanish Professional Footballers' Union (AFE) announced last week that players from Spain's top two divisions were to strike unless an agreement over unpaid wages could be reached with the Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP). The latest meeting was held on Friday, with the AFE seeking a guaranteed fund to protect players' wages in the event of their clubs being declared insolvent, but talks broke down.

Luis Gil, representing the AFE, was quoted as saying by AS: "At least on this occasion proposals have been put on the table, something that didn't happen in Thursday's meeting. Now we will consider them. There has been some progress.''

LFP president Jose Luis Astiazaran said: "The players have the right to strike. There have been talks and this is always positive. We will try to reach an agreement. My job is try to find the best solution. The strike is a constitutional right that has to be respected.''

Astiazaran also said they were not considering reducing the Primera Division season to 37 rounds.

Espanyol captain Luis Garcia told El Mundo Deportivo on Thursday: "The time had come for all the players to unite. The players have said enough is enough.

"We aren't asking for more money - only that the contracts that have been signed are fulfilled. Either this is resolved once and for all or we don't play. We cannot continue like this."

Hercules striker Tote added: "If necessary, there will be no football in Spain throughout the whole year. If we have to maintain our stance until May, we will."

Real Zaragoza striker Ikechukwu Uche told the BBC's African sports programme Fast Track: "Not all the players are owed, but there is solidarity. I don't think the strike is good for anybody - it's not good for us, it's not good for the federation, it's not good for the fans.

"We had expected that we were going to start [the league] this weekend but we can't - they have to resolve the issues. Once they have resolved everything, then we will start."

Further talks are expected to take place on Saturday and Monday.