Government slams Spain’s top footballers as they threaten to strike over the sharing of riches from television contracts with Spain’s smaller, poorer clubs.

A threat by footballers in Spain to strike in a dispute over the sharing of riches from television rights harms the game and its precious revenues, the government warned on Friday.

Players from top teams, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, on Thursday joined in a threat to boycott the last games of the season if the government does not renegotiate a reform of football broadcasting rights.

“The football world is concerned about possible missed opportunities and the damage that this threat of a strike is already doing to football’s image and its capacity to market itself internationally,” Spain’s junior sports minister Miguel Cardenal said in an interview with conservative newspaper ABC.

The RFEF federation which governs the sport in Spain and the AFE players’ union have threatened an open-ended strike from May 16th.

They say they are not happy with the way a new law redistributes revenues from auctioning the television broadcasting rights to lucrative Liga football games.

The government insisted the long-awaited reform offered a better deal for poorer lower-league clubs but the federation and players said it did not go far enough.

The deal obliges broadcasters to bid collectively for the rights to matches rather than letting clubs negotiate with the media individually as previously.

The previous system favoured the richest and most successful clubs, Real and Barcelona… see more

source: thelocal