No agreement in Spanish strike talks

Talks today between the Spanish Professional Footballers' Union (AFE) and the Spanish Football League (LFP) intended to avert a strike for the opening two rounds of the Primera Division have failed to find a resolution.

The AFE announced last week that players from the top two divisions would go on strike for the first two weeks of the 2011/12 season - scheduled to begin this weekend - unless an agreement with the 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.

The two parties had a meeting in Madrid on Wednesday and another today, but no agreement has been reached and they will resume talks tomorrow morning.

An LFP statement read: "AFE and LFP will continue talks.

"Today, August 19, there has been a new meeting between the Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) and the Asociacion de Futbolistas Espanoles (AFE) for negotiations to try to resolve the situation of the strike called by the latter.

"During the meeting both parties put forward their positions and have agreed to continue with the talks in the two meetings already planned, the first of them, tomorrow at 10.15am (local time) and the second on Monday, August 22, at the same time."

The Primera Division season was due to begin tomorrow, with Sunday's games including champions Barcelona going to Malaga and Real Madrid hosting Athletic Bilbao, while the Segunda Division was meant to begin this evening with a fixture between Villarreal B and Hercules.

Espanyol captain Luis Garcia was quoted as saying by El Mundo Deportivo yesterday: "The time had come for all the players to unite. The players have said enough is enough.

"We aren't asking for more money, only that the contracts that have been signed are fulfilled. Either this is resolved once and for all or we don't play. We cannot continue like this."

Meanwhile, Real Zaragoza striker Ikechukwu Uche told the BBC's African sports programme Fast Track: "Not all the players are owed, but there is solidarity.

"I don't think the strike is good for anybody - it's not good for us, it's not good for the federation, it's not good for the fans.

"'We had expected that we were going to start [the league] this weekend but we can't - they have to resolve the issues.

"Once they have resolved everything, then we will start," added the Nigeria international.