Spain: LaLiga season could finish as late as August

Spain now has more reported cases of the COVID-19 with more than 135,000 and has topped 13,000 in reported deaths since the pandemic broke out.

But LaLiga president Javier Tebas said play could resume as early as May 28 in the best-case scenario in an effort to finish the season. It had played 27 of 38 games with Barcelona leading Real Madrid by two points when the league shut down a month ago.

It's clear that LaLiga will want to finish the season at all costs with 700 million euros ($760 million) to be saved if play can at least resume behind closed doors.

In a conference call, Tebas touched on several overriding topics ...

Resuming training. “A protocol is being drafted by three medical teams over the last two weeks for a return to training which involves the possibility of doing coronavirus tests and isolation in locker rooms. When? We can’t say at the moment. The Spanish medical authorities will tell us. There is a state of emergency until April 26 and we will not start training until that point at the very earliest."

Restart dates. "Of all the different scenarios we have been looking at with UEFA to go back to competing, the most probable ones are May 28, June 6 or June 28. We can't say an exact date. This will be given to us by the authorities in Spain. But we still have time to get back to training before that. We will look at other scenarios as they occur, especially when we see what happens in April. We think we can finish in August; we think that’s viable. UEFA made a big effort to enable us to optimize the dates."

Playing behind closed doors. “The last business that will return to normal are theaters, cinemas, shows that people attend. We are an industry like that too but we can also restart part of our activity without people because the fundamental part of our income comes from TV. So, it’s not a case of us getting special treatment; it’s that when we return, we will be able to do so in a way that allows us to exploit part of our business."

Financial losses. "If we are looking at the economic impact, including the money we would get from European competitions, the revenue Spanish clubs would miss out on if we don't get back playing again is 1 billion euros [$1.09 billion]. If we do get playing but without spectators, it would be 300 million euros [$326 million]. Even if we get back to playing with spectators, the damage this situation has already caused would be 150 million euros [$163 million]."

Canceling season. “It is only something that I would contemplate if I was asleep; if I am awake, not at all. We are not considering that; it is something that will be studied only at the point at which it absolutely has to be. I do not wish to start the debate now because it is pointless and only generates a conflict of interest. None of the big or medium leagues are considering terminating the season. Not returning is not an option we are thinking about at all.”

Maintaining financial fair-play rules. "This is something that has been talked about in European Leagues board meetings and in the UEFA working group. Certain dates will be delayed for presentation of the documents and we are changing the dates for certain payments but nothing more. Until Sept. 30, Spanish football has to collect transfer payments from other European clubs worth 350 million euros [$380 million]. It is very important these obligations are met. If they don't pay, Spanish clubs may not be able to pay other European clubs. If people want to invest a lot of money to help, we have to look at it. But just because you have a crisis, I don't think you should accept money from anyone. If we cannot control the clubs' wealth, European football will end up in the hands of states. When the crisis comes to an end, they might not be affected. A club shouldn't be allowed to get a competitive advantage because someone wants to put in some money."

1 comment about "Spain: LaLiga season could finish as late as August".
  1. beautiful game, April 8, 2020 at 10:39 a.m.

    I hear your pain El Presidente. At some point decisions will have to be made. Hopefully such decisions will be based on independent medical analysis only.

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