It's off! The Spanish Footballer's Association (AFE) has come to an agreement with the Spanish League officials (LFP), and they have cancelled the strike that would have postponed the start of the Liga BBVA for another week. This is great news for fans and athletes alike, as we'll all get to go back to doing what we love--watching, playing, or typing furiously on a keyboard for hours a day (yeah, I do like it).
The players, who had decided to strike due to what they saw as inaction on the part of the clubs to deal with mounting debt and unpaid salaries, agreed to a compromise Thursday that should begin to change (or at least address) some of the LFP's more egregious problems.
Well, maybe not even that.The agreement was based on three things in particular:
- The creation of a wage fund, the exact size of which either hasn't been disclosed or hasn't been set. The AFE will contribute a set amount to the fund, but that money will be eventually paid back to the AFE by the players over the course of four years.
- The fulfillment of contracts for players that haven't been paid in three or more months as soon as possible.
- A guarantee that clubs will pay their players their full contracts even if the clubs descend to Segunda.
This doesn't seem that bad, does it? I mean, how could it if both sides seem so happy? There are some major positives to the deal: as I said above, the most egregious offenses (basically, all the unfulfilled contracts) will be taken care of. But that's about as far as this goes: the wage fund quantity hasn't even been set yet (so it could be tiny), and they haven't even begun to deal with the fact that various clubs are deeply, perilously in debt.
So, like most disputes between employer and employee, neither party really got what they needed (they both might have gotten what they needed). They're glossing over the fact that various clubs still won't be able to pay their players (just because there's a wage fund doesn't necessarily guarantee payment), and they haven't even begun to deal with the TV income disparity.
These are the real problems that need fixing; the players managed to right a small wrong, but skirt the bigger issues (and good for them--they deserve it). But we're the ones who lose out here.
But it's OK! We'll have La Liga to watch this weekend!
Yes, we will. But for how much longer?