March 7, 2021

A judge decides whether there are League matches or not on Mondays and Fridays

Next week the League starts, but you really don't know what day. So scary is the situation that what could not be solved by speaking, will have to be decided by a judge. But that is how crude is the conflict over the dates of the matches between the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and its president Luis Rubiales and LaLiga, with Javier Tebas in command. What the judge decides on Wednesday is not the underlying issue: who has the power to determine the calendar; but if precautionary measures are taken and there will be matches on Mondays and Fridays, as LaLiga says, or only on Saturdays and Sundays, as the Federation defends, until there is a final resolution, which can take months.

The summary of the facts is like that. The Federation planted battle against LaLiga, in a new chapter of the war between its presidents, by ensuring that next season no matches were going to be played on Mondays. He considers it an attack on fans who go to the field to the detriment of those who watch it on television. LaLiga negotiated television rights for a million-dollar price of 2,300 kilos, including matches on Mondays and Fridays. Both sides approved the calendar, but When LaLiga (July 12) took out the specific dates of the first three days, with games outside the weekend, the Federation's complaints arrived. First they were informal, in a tweet from Rubiales himself, in which he said that Thebes "doesn't play football" and that there would be no "soccer on Mondays"; and then through the Competition Committee, whose sole judge ruled that it would only be played on Saturdays and Sundays. LaLiga argues that the competition judge at the end is nothing more than an employee of the Federation, hence she questions her neutrality and asks to wait for the resolution of the commercial judge.

This is the view that is celebrated on Wednesday, August 7 in the Commercial Court number 2 of Madrid, whose head is Andrés Sánchez Magro. LaLiga asks for the precautionary suspension of the measures issued by the Single Judge of Competition of the RFEF for considering that the damage they may cause is irreparable. That is, he wants to keep the calendar he had established before, in which the championship begins on Friday 16 with the Athletic Club-Barcelona dispute and in which, for example, on that first day there are two games on Monday 19: Mallorca-Eibar and Betis-Valladolid. "If they do not grant the precautionary it would be dantesco", they say from LaLiga, which has the support of the clubs (except Real Madrid), which in the end are the ones that make it up and that see part of their income at risk. From the employer assure that the agreements signed for the sale of television rights, which amount to those 2.3 billion, would be jeopardized. Some television operators from all over the world have already contacted the agency to say that if there are no matches on Mondays and Fridays the price of the championship is less than that signed amount. Many clubs fear that their main source of funding, which are televisions (especially those in the lower zone of the classification), is reduced. In the middle is also the opinion of some fans, who complain that they are always the same ones who have to play on Monday, the most complicated day because they usually work and it is more difficult to go to the stadium. Sectors of the Alavés and Rayo fans, for example, were very active in their protest during the past year. The dilemma of whether it is better to think about the fans or to have more money is generated here, or to have more money is to think about the fans because it allows you to sign better and have better facilities. But that is another story.

Regarding the underlying conflict or who really has the power to set the schedules and dates, from LaLiga they consider them to be "the only competent organization" to do so. In the new minimum agreement, which was signed with the RFEF in July, there was nothing specific about the matches on Mondays and Fridays, as it did in the previous one, in 2014, hence in the Federation they think that LaLiga can decide the schedules, but not the dates. To all this, LaLiga appeals as a point in its favor to the Royal Decree approved in 2015 that gave it the power to commercialize individual rights. That is the complicated legal war, but it will be decided later. The first step is if the precautionary is taken. There is a hurry to know the verdict.

. (tagsToTranslate) Luis Rubiales

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