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La Liga: Players strike continues

Reuters
Aug 22, 2011 at 08:03pm IST

Madrid: Spain's top football players could continue their strike action over unpaid wages to a second match day this weekend. Last weekend saw the start of the season delayed for the first time in 27 years after players chose to strike.

Six Spanish top-flight clubs are currently in bankruptcy protection.

"The problem is not solved. I would be more optimistic, but I cannot," said Luis Gil, director of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE).

La Liga: Players strike continues

Six Spanish top-flight clubs are currently in bankruptcy protection.

The AFE and the clubs' Professional Football League - who represent the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas - met in a new round of talks in Madrid on Monday morning but failed to come to an agreement.

Both sides will reconvene on Tuesday afternoon to discuss further proposals after talks between the two parties last week failed to find a resolution, leading to the scheduled opening round of Primera Division and Segunda Division fixtures being postponed at the weekend.

AFE director Gil continued: "I understand that people want to watch football, but we must think about the players who are suffering.

"Presently, I can only speak of a strike for the second round of matches. And it will remain in place if we cannot find agreement on all points. We made another proposal and now must see if an agreement can be reached."

The representatives are demanding a wage guarantee and that players should be allowed to break their contracts if they are not paid for three consecutive months, a proposal rejected by the league.

According to the AFE, 200 players in the top two divisions have not been fully paid by cash-strapped clubs and are owed a total of about 50m euros ($72m).

It remains unclear if the league will try to squeeze missed matches into an already packed schedule or just scrap them.

The league cannot be extended past the current end date of 13 May 2012, due to the time given over to national teams to prepare for next June's Euro 2012 tournament.

The second round of Primera Division matches includes reigning champions Barcelona hosting Villarreal next Monday and Real Madrid travelling away to Real Zaragoza on Sunday.

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