The strike is over. The footballers will be able to put on their boots again, the spectators will be able to sit in the stands again and the balls will roll on the grass. Unions and employers shook hands; The footballers and the clubs reached an agreement, as well as the F League. After 18 months of negotiations and numerous fruitless meetings, in 13 days of September and five meetings between all the parties, the resolution of the problem was reached, the basic principle of collective agreement for professional players, which is the minimum gross annual salary and which has been set at 21,000 euros, 22,500 and 23,500 for the next three years with a salary review -based on concepts that have been agreed upon- in order to reach 23,000, 25,000 and 28,000. The rest of the footballers’ demands, that agreement to be signed for three years, will be discussed more calmly during the course. But with this agreement, for the moment, it is enough to call off the strike, to resume a competition that was lost on the first day between locker rooms and empty fields.
Until this year, the players had a minimum salary of 16,000 euros. Something laughable if it is intended that they dedicate themselves exclusively to football, that they are required to be professionals and are not treated as such. But there is a stretch to what has been signed of the ambitions of the players’ assembly, represented by five unions (FUTPRO, AFE, Futbolistas ON, CCOO and UGT). The idea was a minimum salary of 25,000 euros that in the following two years would reach 30,000. But seeing that there was no understanding between the two parties, they lowered their claims to 23,000. The employers, however, always arguing that there is no money, progressively offered from 16,500 to 19,000 and finally 20,000. As it was, there were no handshakes or binding signatures. Therefore, the Interconfederal FP Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA-FSP), in its role as intermediary, proposed a solution at the last minute on Tuesday: this season they would charge 21,000, the next 22,000 and in the 2025-26 academic year they would reach the 23,000. Figures that, unions and employers agreed, they had to discuss with their constituents. Wednesday they would say.
The players’ assembly asked for 21,500 euros now… But the employers were reluctant to agree, even though they knew that the focus is on the soccer players, now that they are world champions. But she also knew that there was not total unity among the players, as was evident during the first day of the strike. The Granadilla Tenerife footballers made a statement in which they said that they would have accepted the League F proposal to focus on the ball. Esther Sullastres, Sevilla goalkeeper, posted on her social networks: “It is one of the saddest days I remember in our sport. We are damaging the product. They are neither ways nor are there reasons for it.” And Patri Ojeda, from Sporting de Huelva, joined in: “I think that the League F proposal is more than reasonable and equitable for all clubs and contributes to continuing progress, which is what really matters.” But it was not the opinion of the majority and that is why the strike continued on the first day of the league. History will no longer repeat itself.
After another marathon day, since the meeting began at 3:00 p.m. and ended at 12:30 a.m., with numerous breaks to discuss between the players or the clubs, the agreement was reached. The most complicated and urgent thing has already been done, but there is still a long way to go for some soccer players who are already in trouble. Among other things, because they demand the collective agreement not only economically, but they also asked for conciliation agreements, support regarding breastfeeding or childcare during training. They also requested help to cover studies and some minimums, such as playing on natural grass and for clubs to have physiotherapists, specialized trainers… But that, for the moment, has been left for later. Meanwhile, the ball will roll again.
Thus, the new season of League F will premiere this Friday at 9:00 p.m. with Valencia-Real Madrid at the Antonio Puchades. Four matches will be played on Saturday (Eibar-Levante Las Planas; Atlético-Athletic; Betis-Villarreal; and Madrid CFF-Barcelona). And on Sunday the day will close with three more duels (Tenerife-Sporting de Huelva; Granada-Real Sociedad; and Levante-Sevilla).
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