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SBD Global/August 15, 2012/International Football

La Liga To Start On Schedule, But LFP Assembly Can't Resolve TV Rights

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, is tackled by Sevilla's Jose Andujar Moreno 'Coke', during a La Liga match April 29.
Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) President Jose Luis Astiazaran "guaranteed" that the '12-13 La Liga season will start as scheduled at the end of the week, according to the EFE. Following the General Assembly meeting of the Primera and Segunda Division clubs, Astiazaran said, "For a long time we talked about important elements. We put on the table the questions that we had in our hands. We talked about the questions for La Liga, the governing and the television broadcasting. There will be games at the end of this week at the scheduled times" (EFE, 8/14). REUTERS' Iain Rogers reported that officials from a group of 13 "disgruntled clubs" said that the issues "had not been resolved" at the meeting. However, "progress was made and the presence of Secretary of State for Sport Miguel Cardenal had helped calm the situation." The 13 top flight clubs are angry that broadcasters Canal+ and Mediapro have "failed to settle a dispute over TV rights ownership." Following the meeting, Real Betis President Miguel Guillen said, "There will have to be a solution, but it won't be ready tomorrow. It was an extremely important step forward that the secretary of state is perfectly aware of the issues to be addressed." The 13 teams also want the LFP to institute a "transparent and regulated" system for fixing kick-off times. Furthermore, Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate revenue from TV rights due to the "lack of a system of collective bargaining and income sharing like those in rival European leagues," and many La Liga clubs want this to change (REUTERS, 8/14).

LONG WAY TO GO: The EFE also reported that Cardenal considered the meeting "positive," but there is "still some ways to go" to reach a solution over TV rights (EFE, 8/14). The EFE also reported Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo, whose team is on the list of 13, said the meeting could be the start of  "a good relationship" between the LFP and the 13 clubs. When asked about the demands made by the 13 "rebel" clubs Cerezo said, "We are 13 united teams and we have to keep pushing until we reach our objectives and we have to win the battle until the end for the good of our interests and those of La Liga." As for Real Madrid President Florentino Perez and Barça President Sandro Rosell, both "avoided making any comments" as they left the meeting (EFE, 8/14).
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