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Player strikes in Spain and Italy

"Crisis in Spanish football deepens as players vow to stay on strike "


Monday's talks aimed at ending the players' strike which has disrupted the start of the Spanish league season have ended with no agreement reached.


Both sides will reconvene at the headquarters of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) this to discuss the proposals exchanged after today's meeting.


The AFE announced earlier this month that players from the top two divisions in Spain would go on strike for the first two rounds of the 2011-12 season unless an agreement with the Spanish League (LFP) was reached over the issue of unpaid wages.


The AFE want a guaranteed fund to protect players' wages in the event of their clubs being declared insolvent.


According to the AFE, clubs in Spain owe around 50million euros in unpaid salaries to more than 200 players from the end of last season.


Talks between the two parties last week failed to find a resolution, leading to the scheduled opening round of Primera Division and Segunda Division fixtures being postponed at the weekend.


The AFE and LFP met again for more talks on Saturday and the third of three scheduled meetings took place at the LFP's headquarters in Madrid.


AFE director Luis Gil sounded a pessimistic note after today's discussions, telling reporters in Spain: 'The problem is not solved.


'I understand that people want to watch football, but we must think about the players who are suffering. I would be more optimistic, but I cannot.


'Presently, I can only speak of a strike for the second round of matches. And it will remain in place if we cannot find agreement on all points. We made another proposal and now must see if an agreement can be reached.'


The second round of Primera Division matches includes reigning champions Barcelona hosting Villarreal next Monday and Real Madrid travelling away to Real Zaragoza on Sunday.




Meanwhile the Italian players' association have warned they will also strike unless a new collective contract is signed before the start of the Serie A season this weekend.


The players' representatives of all 20 Serie A clubs met in Milan on Monday afternoon to reaffirm their demand for the league to sign a new deal.


'We reiterate our position,' said players' association president Damiano Tommasi. 'If the contract is signed, we will play on Saturday or Sunday. Otherwise, we will stay at home.


'There is time as on Wednesday the league will meet.'


The Italian Players association (AIC) said the league has still not signed an agreement reached with the players last year after intense negotiations, during which strikes were twice narrowly averted.


An old collective agreement expired at the end of the 2009/10 campaign and talks for its renewal continued throughout last season.


The AIC was especially unhappy about clubs trying to force players to move in the last year of their contracts.