Spanish footballers go on strike for their salaries

Nearly 200 players in first division clubs voted on Tuesday an "unlimited strike" to denounce the blocking of negotiations on their salaries.

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It is not only in the United States that the issue of pay – and fairness in this area – is causing friction between footballers and governing bodies. In Spain, nearly 200 professional players playing in first-division clubs voted, on Tuesday, October 22 in the evening, a "Unlimited strike" to denounce the blocking of negotiations on their salaries.

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The strike could start as of November 16th. The exact date of the beginning of this movement has not yet been fixed, explained the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE), which has communicated on this vote followed 93% by the players concerned who play in clubs like FC Barcelona, ​​Atlético de Madrid, or Sevilla FC.

"What the players need is a contract of employment that guarantees their rights. They are full-time footballers »said in a statement, the president of the AFE, David Aganzo.

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Disagreement on part-time contracts

The Association of Women's Football Clubs (ACFF), which brings together the 70 Spanish women's clubs including the sixteen first division, has been negotiating for more than a year with the association of football players what will become the first collective agreement of the footballers.

These need to be treated like their male counterparts and that the annual minimum wage be increased from 16,000 to 20,000 euros in order to " live " sports, or the right to maternity leave, thirty days of vacation per year and a protocol against sexual harassment.

The blocking point is on part-time contracts: where clubs do not want to go beyond a salary of 8,000 euros per year, the players consider that the minimum must be 12,000 euros per year.

"It's not just money"

In the last four years, Spanish clubs have accelerated the professionalization of their women's sections. They negotiated the rights of retransmission with televisions. Their means are therefore more important.

" You have to be realistic, women's football is not profitable, However, before the Women's World Cup in June, Ruben Alcaine, president of the ACFF, vice-president of the women's club in Zaragoza, said.

" If men's clubs did not allocate part of their income, it would not be sustainable. We must first balance the accounts ", he added, while acknowledging that some players go to other European clubs that can offer them more attractive salaries.

"On average, clubs have 500,000 to 1.5 million euros a year, which was unthinkable not long ago, explained the president of the ACFF. Thethe only club currently profitable is FC Barcelona thanks to a generous sponsorship of the brand Stanley, 3.5 million euros. "

"It's not just money, it goes a lot further," justifies, in connection with the strike action, the player of Athletic Bilbao, Ainhoa ​​Tirapu, quoted in the statement of the AFE. " We hope to reach an agreement, but we had to take drastic measures because it's time for women's football. We must fight for our rights. We are not fighting for ourselves, but for future generations too ".

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