Espanyol, better known to casual soccer fans as Wait, Barcelona Has Two Teams?, could be about to drum itself up a whole ton of publicity. AS reports that the club president, Joan Collet, is threatening that his side may go on strike if the Spanish government doesn’t carve up La Liga’s television rights more fairly.
While the bosses of England’s Premier League clubs now wash themselves like this, teams in Spain not named Real Madrid or Barcelona feel they get a raw deal from the current uneven, individualized arrangement, and want a new deal that spreads around the Benjamins (or Euros, whatever) more equally. So, Spanish clubs have merely got to come to some sort of collective agreement about the best way forward, and persuade Real and Barca to take a smaller slice of the pie. Sounds easy.
That England is pulling further away from them, in some kind of tricked-out Rolls Royce, is causing heightened anxiety in Spain, with Atlético Madrid and Valencia fearing a mass exodus of all their good players to Burnley, or something like that.
So now Collet is threatening a work stoppage. “We’re prepared to stop playing if this does not go ahead in the next one, two or three weeks. In sporting matters, the ability of the current government to make themselves look foolish is incredible,” he said. “The law has not been passed yet because there are some politicians who want it put on hold. This league can no longer be called the best in the world.”
Solidarity, brothers! Fight for your rights. Fight for each other. And if the worst comes to the worst and there’s a strike of smaller clubs, maybe Barcelona and Real Madrid can just play each other every week.