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Spanish clubs could halt Liga action to push through rights legislation

Spanish football clubs are prepared to stop playing in order to push through government legislation that will allow media rights for the top-tier Liga to shift to a collective sales model, according to Joan Collet, the president of Espanyol.

“We are ready to halt La Liga if this (law) does not come out in one, two or three weeks,” Collet said, according to the Reuters news agency. “I have already spoken with clubs like Valencia We would have to hold another assembly but we are ready if the government doesn't get a move on.”

Earlier this week, the Spanish Football League asked the country’s government to introduce legislation for collective media-rights sales “as soon as possible” after 40 out of 41 clubs voted for the change at an extraordinary assembly, which was convened after clubs expressed frustrations about delays in the process.

The only club to vote against the move was Athletic Bilbao, with Real Madrid joining Barcelona in agreeing to the proposal.

Real and Barcelona currently generate considerably higher media-rights income than its Liga rivals through the existing club-by-club sales model.

“We are still maintaining this disgraceful situation with the two clubs (Real and Barcelona) earning what nobody else in Europe earns,” Collet said. “The current TV contracts are nearing their end and because the law has not been approved we cannot negotiate the new ones.”