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Spanish football to go on strike

After all the histrionics of the Spanish Super Cup, an even bigger story is brewing in Spanish football: a player's strike that will almost certainly delay the start of the season.

The League and the players' union the Association of Spanish Football Players (AFE) are at loggerheads over the guaranteed wage fund that the players want: it would guarantee that players would be paid even if their club become insolvent, as many in Spain are.

Currently six La Liga clubs are in bankruptcy protection, and the AFE say that 200 players are owed monies adding up to £44million by clubs. AFE representative Luis Gil says that 'the league does not want to bridge the gap. In this moment the AFE has no intention of extending the strike beyond the second round of games. But clubs who do not pay should be relegated. ' With the league – who say that the two groups agree on 80 per cent of the issues but can't resolve the remaining 20 per cent – unwilling to budge, it appears that fans will be missing out on Spanish football action for a while. But why?

'The root cause of the threatened strike is that many clubs in Spain pay their players several months in arrears,' said Phil Minshull, the BBC's Spanish football expert. 'The only legal obligation clubs have to their players is to settle all their debts by June 30 at the end of every year and many don't even do this .'

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