x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Start of Primera Liga delayed

The start of the Spanish league season will be delayed by a strike after league officials and player representatives failed on a last-minute deal.

The start of the Spanish league season will be delayed by a strike after league officials and player representatives failed on a last-minute deal yesterday.

The Association of Spanish Football Players (AFE) said the strike will go ahead after talks failed for improved salary guarantees in a new collective bargaining agreement.

Spanish players representing all 42 teams in the top two divisions backed the first work stoppage in 27 years.

The season was scheduled to start this weekend. The league may start in September after the AFE pledged to boycott the first two rounds because of the labour conflict.

Both parties plan to talk today and Monday, with next weekend's second round of games still uncertain. AFE has not indicated if it will extend the strike beyond then with an international break, meaning the domestic league may not start until September 10.

The conflict is about wages as players look for guarantees with clubs owing up to US$72 million (Dh264m) in unpaid salaries to more than 200 players.

Atletico Madrid

Gregorio Manzano, the Atletico Madrid coach, is delighted to be able to call on the services of Falcao this season after the Primera Liga side agreed a deal with Porto for the prolific Colombian. Falcao, 25, will cost the Spanish outfit €40 million (Dh212m), rising to a possible €47m. His signing will help cover the loss of Argentina ace Sergio Aguero, who left Atletico for Manchester City. "I feel flattered to have him for next season," said Manzano, who took charge of Atletico in June.

Getafe

Spanish striker Dani Guiza is returning to his former club Getafe after three seasons with the Turkish club Fenerbahce. Fenerbahce have not requested a transfer fee but Guiza will forfeit money owed to him by the Turkish club.