Twelve hours after the meeting began, with no possible agreement between the employers and the unions, the mediators of the Interconfederal FP Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA-FSP) made a proposal on the minimum annual gross salary of professional soccer players that was included in a gradual increase for the first three courses. This season they would earn 21,000, the next 22,000 and in the 2025-26 academic year they would reach 23,000. Proposal that the five unions that represent the players (FUTPRO, AFE, Futbolistas ON, CC OO and UGT) transferred via telematics to the footballers’ assembly, while the F League did the same with the clubs. An hour later, without possible consensus due to lack of time, everyone decided to take a day of reflection. Negotiations will continue this Wednesday with the idea of suspending the strike for the second league matchday, after the players refused to play the first matchday.
It remains to be seen if the soccer players, who now have the minimum salary of 16,000 euros gross per year, accept the proposal, far from the 30,000 with which they began the negotiation and which they reduced to 23,000. For the clubs, however, it is more favorable, since they have already offered 20,000 for this course. Thus, after 18 months of negotiations and numerous meetings, the last three in the SIMA offices, the white smoke.
The first meeting took place in January 2022, when the players’ assembly expressed that the collective agreement was laughable, that they were required to be professionals but were not treated as such. In addition, they demanded changes not only economically, but they also asked for conciliation agreements, support regarding breastfeeding or childcare during training. They also requested help to pay for their studies and some minimums, such as playing on natural grass and for the clubs to have physiotherapists, specialized trainers… Requests that the employers did not respond to for many months.
But after the World Cup and August laurel, the unions sent an email to League F on September 1 – with a copy to the Ministry of Labor, as established by law – to warn of the call for a strike for the first two days, in addition to request SIMA mediation. The letter was received with surprise by the employers’ association – by the president of the competition, Beatriz Álvarez, the vice president Rubén Alcaine, and personalities from Atlético, Athletic and Levante – at the meeting on the 4th, to the point that it was not even negotiated. , all aware that they would need intermediation.
Seeing that the negotiations were not picking up pace, the players’ assembly proposed addressing only the salary for this year and, during the course, delving into the collective agreement. So the battle came down to economics. The precedents were the following: in July the F League proposed an increase in salary in a gradual increase of three courses (16,500-17,500 and 19,000) when the union part requested 30,000 (20,000-25,000 and 30,000), knowing that the boys have agreement a minimum salary of 182,000 per year. But the employers backed down, arguing that their budgets have been undermined after the resolutions issued by the Higher Sports Council (CSD) – although the measure has been applied since this year – which calls for allocating 20% of the income commercials to the RFEF. Money that is reinvested in favor of football played by women because it is part of a system of distribution of the wealth of professional competitions to promote non-professional categories and thus guarantee the development of the base.
The employer’s response has been inflexible from the beginning: there is no money. And this is how the last meeting developed, even though there was a small rapprochement. The social side proposed a salary reduction that remained at 25,000 euros. The employers responded with an increase to 20,000 and, with the ball back in their court, the unions lowered it to 24,000 and then to 23,000. But the employers settled on 20,000. The strike was already a reality because the footballers’ assembly did not understand that for 3,000 euros, which would affect between 130 and 150 players, an agreement could not be reached, at least for this season. It remains to be seen what happens now.
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