The start of the Spanish football season will be delayed by two weeks after the players’ union (AFE) announced strike action.
Spanish internationals Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso and Carles Puyol were among some 100 top flight players to gather in Madrid in support of the move, which will see the first two weekends of first and second division matches postponed.
At the heart of the dispute is the union’s demand for a larger emergency fund to help players not being paid by clubs who are in financial administration.
President of the Spanish football players union Luis Rubiales said: “Players don’t want more money, we want our contracts to be fulfilled. To ensure the past dues, the present dues and the future dues. We don’t just want palliative measures, we have proposed as it exists in Holland, as it exists in Germany, as it exists in France, as it exists in England, preventative measures. In those countries the clubs that don’t pay cannot compete.”
The two-legged Spanish Super Cup between Real Madrid and Barcelona on Sunday and Wednesday will not be affected, neither will Spain’s EURO 2012 qualifier against Liechtenstein on September 6.
The Primera and Secunda divisions are now expected to begin on Sunday September 11.