Football: Spain players, clubs in last-ditch talks on strike

19 August 2011 12:00

Players and clubs in Spain's top two divisions held a last-ditch meeting Friday to try to avert a strike threatening the first two match days of the season.

Footballers including world stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have vowed not to play when the season starts Saturday because of a row over unpaid salaries.

The two sides opened a meeting at 11:15 am (0915 GMT) and were scheduled to announce the results in a news conference.

The Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) is demanding a wage guarantee and that players be allowed to break their contracts if they are not paid for three consecutive months.

The AFE says 200 players in the top two divisions have not been fully paid by hard-pressed clubs, some of which are in bankruptcy protection. It says the total due is now about 50 million euros ($72 million).

Talks to resolve the dispute broke down Wednesday without a deal and much of the Spanish media is betting the stike for the first two match days will go ahead.

Jose Luis Aztiazaran, president of the Professional Football League (LFP), said after Wednesday's meeting that the clubs would work through this weekend to find a deal if necessary.

A strike could cause a major headache as the League tries to squeeze missed matches into an already packed schedule.

Source: AFP