Much like every other aspect of our lives, Spanish women’s football has been taken by storm by the coronavirus pandemic.
Primera Iberdrola has been on pause since the second week of March. However, unlike in the men’s case, suspending women’s football does not entail huge economic losses so it makes it a lot more likely for the league season to be called off. The Spanish federation has already proposed that all non-professional leagues — which still includes first division women’s football in Spain — be suspended. Nothing is certain, yet, but it looks like the next time we see our women’s team play, it will be as Real Madrid Femenino and not as CD Tacón.
The Spanish Government released an executive order on April 15th that supposedly gave the Spanish federation the right to sell the TV rights of all clubs. This has proven to be judicially questionable in the past, so, we will have to wait for the judiciary’s verdict on this. It would mean that Real Madrid would lose their rights to stream their own games or exploit them economically as they see fit. On the other hand, it would mean that we would finally be able to watch all the games.
Transfer expectations and Toña Is rumors
Looking a bit further and into next season, some big questions regarding transfers arise. Earlier this month, a document stipulating the training rights clause of various U-23 players was leaked. And, just, what is a training rights clause? It’s a fee that clubs can add to young players’ release clauses as compensation for their development. They also exist in men’s football, but are regulated by UEFA. In women’s football, this isn’t the case, which has resulted in some absurd figures for certain players like 500,000€ for Ona Batlle or Eva Navarro.
These clauses might be void because of administrative issues, but if they turn out to be valid, the players on the list are basically off the market. Some other cases include Damaris Egurrola and Maite Oroz from Athletic Bilbao who have a 250,000€ training rights clause in their contracts. They have also been listed as possible targets for Tacón’s summer transfer window. Another factor to take into account is that, if the coronavirus crisis finally leads to a league suspension, there might be a mandatory extension of contracts which would also limit the number of available players this summer.
There are also many rumors going around regarding Tacón’s head coach position next season. Toña Is has been strongly linked with the club as a possible replacement for David Aznar — the latter of whom’s contract ends this summer. She is a pioneer in Spanish women’s football in many ways; she was a player in the late 80’s and early 90’s and she witnessed the formation of what is now one of the oldest teams in women’s football, Oviedo Moderno. She is the only coach in Spanish women’s football to ever win a world cup, a feat she achieved with the U-17 side in 2018.
She is yet to prove herself at the senior level but having her on the bench could be a decisive factor in luring young Spanish talent. In a radio interview earlier this week, she was asked about the possibility of coaching the newly formed Real Madrid. She replied that she would be “more than delighted” and that “coaching world-class players such as Asllani or Sofia Jakobsson would be a luxury.”