Spanish Soccer Suspended Indefinitely

Luke Sharma

The Spanish Football Federation has scheduled a strike starting May 16 over a dispute regarding the distribution of TV money.

The Spanish Football Federation have declared a suspension on all domestically-scheduled games to much controversy, with Barcelona leading Real Madrid in La Liga by a mere two points with three games remaining.

The reason for the protest is that following current laws and regulations, Barcelona and Real Madrid are permitted to negotiate their own TV rights fees. This means that they claim up to 50 percent of Spanish football's television revenue, increasing the wealth divide between the pair and the rest of the teams in Spanish soccer. This is set to change as the Spanish government have announced a new law regarding the distribution of television revenue. This will make the Spanish system similar to that of the English Premier League, with a more even distribution of television money across every team in La Liga.

To add to the complications regarding TV rights, the Spanish Football Federation has come to the conclusion that the government is undermining their power over Spanish soccer. Through protest against this power struggle, the Spanish Football Federation has cancelled all competitions between all teams of all age groups for an undefined length of time until a compromise can be reached.

This strike has affected around 600,000 players in Spain, all the way up from grassroots soccer to the "super teams" at the top of La Liga, and reportedly they [the players] do not take issue with it. BBC News reports that before the strike was even announced, the Spanish players association was going to protest the huge wage difference between La Liga players and Segunda Division players, which is only going to be worsened by the new proposal from the Spanish government.

Although the new laws will distribute the television money very equally across teams in La Liga, it's teams in the Segunda Division that will once again struggle financially as they have been over the past few seasons.

To put it into perspective, Racing Santander could not afford to pay their players wages last season, and so they [the players] refused to take the field in the quarter-final of the Spanish cup. There is a real possibility that players' livelihoods in the Segunda Division of Spanish football could be directly impeded by the new rules.

Even though Real Madrid will take home a huge amount of money from Spanish television rights, they may not be allowed to spend a penny of it on new players due to the potential of a transfer ban.

[Photo Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images]

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