Last two weeks of the season in jeopardy as players threatent to down tools.
A Spanish court has said it would rule on Thursday whether the proposed strike that threatens to shut down the country’s top league this weekend, can go ahead.
The Spanish Footballers Association (AFE) have called the strike from May 16 onwards, which in theory could affect the final two rounds of the league campaign plus the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
The dispute has arisen over a disagreement in the way in which money from the new television rights deal is to be distributed, although the players union insist they are acting on a matter of principle and not because they seek more money out of the deal.
In Wednesday’s open hearing, lawyers for the two sides argued over whether the players had the right to go on strike against a new law that redistributes broadcast revenues from the lucrative Liga.
The head of the AFE Luis Rubiales said after Wednesday’s hearing that he was confident the court would not block the strike.
“I am convinced this strike is legal,” he told reporters outside the court. “Our lawyer dismantled one by one all the points raised by the other party.”
The chairman of the league, Javier Tebas, responded: “I have always said the strike is illegal. Now it is up to the court to decide.”
Rubiales said the union was “reaching out to meet with anyone we need to in order to resolve a serious problem”.