Athletic One Of Only Four Clubs Willing To Negotiate La Liga Matches On Monday Nights
The ongoing scheduling war between La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation continues to product drama. After the RFEF announced that there would be no games held on Monday or Friday nights this year, La Liga did just that when they released the fixtures list for the opening three weeks of the season. Since then the issue has been taken to legal authorities.
The Spanish Federation reacted by escalating the conflict to a judge who ruled that the games on Monday and Friday nights would have to be rescheduled for the weekend. La Liga immediately appealed and another verdict was given a few days ago by judge Andres Sanchez Magro. In an attempt to find a compromise, Monday night matches will not be allowed but games can be scheduled on Fridays.
While the compromise may seem like the best solution it only led to more drama. The RFEF publically stated that they were happy with the decision, but would continue pushing to get rid of Friday night games while also calling for La Liga President Javier Tebas to resign. On the other hand, La Liga believes that getting Friday night games back means it will only be a matter of time before Mondays will follow.
In all the drama it’s easy to forget that whatever happens will significantly impact the clubs in Spain. Scheduling matches on Monday and Friday nights is part of the television deals in place with La Liga and next month Tebas will be expected to report just how much revenue the clubs will be losing by not playing games on Monday nights. Many clubs in La Liga have essentially doubled their income under Tebas’ reign as president but that is now in jeopardy.
On Monday, representatives from clubs in La Liga and the second division met in Madrid with Tebas to discuss the issue. The vast majority made it clear that they will not negotiate with the Spanish Federation because the RFEF doesn’t have any control over La Liga. As a separate institution, the RFEF shouldn’t be able to influence any part of the league. Spain Federation president Luis Rubiales even reached out to the clubs to hold talks but saw his offers rejected. Only four clubs – Athletic, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Espanyol – were willing to negotiate.
From a football aspect, Monday and Friday night games have been a problem. Attendance has suffered, as has the atmosphere at stadiums, and many fans have even protested the matches. That being said, these games have also brought clubs more revenue and losing that could be catastrophic for some. Compromise seems to be the best solution, but no matter what happens there will be repercussions.