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13 clubs demand action against MediaPro and threaten strike

The clubs held a meeting earlier today in Madrid and are demanding that Mediapro withdraw legal action against two clubs, pay what they owe several clubs and reach an agreement with Canal Plus.

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AS.com - EFE | 07/08/2012

Thirteen La Liga clubs have issued a statement demanding that the Spanish football league takes urgent action in four areas: force television companies to pay clubs the money they owe them; create a transparent framework for setting kick-off times; withdraw legal action against clubs related to television contracts; establish a fairer framework of distribution of television revenues.

The 13 clubs (Athletic Bilbao, Atlético de Madrid, Real Betis, Celta Vigo, Espanyol, Getafe, Granada, Real Mallorca, Osasuna, Rayo Vallecano, Real Sociedad, Sevilla and Real Zaragoza) met today in the centre of Madrid to discuss an action plan after many club directors expressed their outrage at the recent decision by the league to schedule games for 23:00 in the first two weekends of the season.

Following the meeting, the clubs each released this statement:

"The following clubs from the Primera Division attended a meeting today in Madrid.

- Athletic Bilbao

- Atlético de Madrid

- Real Betis

- Celta Vigo

- Espanyol de Barcelona

- Getafe

- Granada

- Real Mallorca, S.A.D.

- Osasuna

- Rayo Vallecano

- Real Sociedad

- Sevilla

- Real Zaragoza

Every club which attended the meeting, the vast majority of clubs in the league, disagrees with the recent developments in the First Division of the National Professional Football League (LNFP) We believe these developments show a great lack of respect to the clubs, all which are members of the LFNP.

Therefore, in light of the great uncertainty facing every club in the league, owing to the lack of agreement between the television companies which own the broadcasting rights of the clubs, the aforementioned clubs have unanimously agreed to ask the president of the LNFP to call an urgent board meeting for Primera División clubs next Tuesday 14 August to discuss, vote and if appropriate, approve the following items:

1. Demand immediate payment of all money owed by TV operators to First Division clubs.

2. Demand the withdrawal of all legal action against Primera División clubs in relation to contracts of sale of media rights.

3. Create a transparent and regulated procedure to organise kick-off times and dates for La Liga matches.

4. Require television operators to establish a stable framework to ensure the fair distribution of broadcasting rights for all clubs in the Primera Division.

If a solution is not reached which all clubs can agree on, the aforementioned clubs are prepared to take whatever mesaures are necessary, including delaying the start of the 2012/13 league season, which is scheduled to begin on 18 August."

In April 2010 the National Competition Commission ruled that all contracts clubs had signed with television companies that lasted more than three years were null, meaning existing deals between clubs and the media corporation MediaPro were void. Several clubs then signed contracts with rival company Canal Plus, prompting legal action from MediaPro against two clubs, Espanyol and Celta Vigo. These cases were thrown out of court in Barcelona, but the clubs are now seeking to draw a line under the issue through this resolution.

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