Spain football clubs meet players over strike

AFP, Monday 22 Aug 2011

Spain's top football clubs are meeting with players on Monday to try to prevent a strike over unpaid wages spreading to a second match day, an official said

Lionel Messi

Players in the first and second divisions—including the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo—struck on the first match day and delayed the season start for the first time in 27 years.

The players' Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) and the clubs' Professional Football League open a new round of talks in Madrid at midday (1000 GMT), an spokesman for the clubs said.

A news conference is scheduled afterwards, he said.

The AFE is demanding a wage guarantee and that players be allowed to break their contracts if they are not paid for three consecutive months, a proposal rejected by the league.

According to the AFE, 200 players in the top two divisions have not been fully paid by cash-strapped clubs, some in bankruptcy protection, and are owed a total of about 50 million euros ($72 million).

It is not clear if the league will try to squeeze missed matches into an already packed schedule or just scrap them.

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