Friday, August 19

The hardships of golden football




After a Spanish woman, Alexia Putellas, was chosen on Monday as the best soccer player in the world, everything remains the same in women’s football. A sport that continues on the warpath awaiting the real formalization of its professionalization, a scenario to which the CSD committed itself last summer, but blocked in practice by the particular interests of the different players in the Iberdrola League, the Women’s First Division. After several communiqués and protest acts that do not seem to have helped to unravel the precarious situation that in many clubs begins to be unsustainable, the strike begins to be a threat that gains strength. “Monday was a day of victory and pride. A precedent was set to encourage many players to dedicate themselves professionally to soccer, but that is still very difficult in Spain today because we continue to have extreme conditions in our women’s soccer, ”she details to ABC Tamara ramos, manager of the Futbolistas ON union.

«This award is going to be a visibility shot. It is what we need, that is created in these players. The results are there. There is no excuse for not taking another step, “defended Putellas herself after receiving the Ballon d’Or. In September 2020, Irene lozano, then president of the CSD, advocated having one of the best women’s leagues in the world and announced its professionalization process. Fifteen months later, with José Manuel Franco at the helm, the spirit of the CSD has not changed, but its role as mediator does not seem to be bearing fruit. “The key is that the 16 clubs have to reach an agreement and, in a negotiation, all have to give in, otherwise it is impossible to reach an agreement on professionalization statutes”, explains Ramos.

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«This situation is posing a danger to the economic viability of some clubs. Three months after qualifying the category as a professional, this joke should not be extended to soccer players, and especially to the work we do in the sport of this country », the players explained in a statement Ten days ago. However, it doesn’t look like there is going to be any good news any time soon. The collective agreement signed in February 2020, the first in the history of women’s football, has an expiration date at the end of this season and its renewal and improvement will be impossible to carry out without the professionalization of the league or the sale of the rights. television, now non-existent.

This is one of the great workhorses that women’s football has, a television blackout that is doing a lot of damage. Mediapro decided in August to stop broadcasting the championship due to the audiovisual breach of what was signed, a measure that has been subtracted from each club between 200,000 and 300,000 euros in revenue, which was what they received each season from the broadcast of the league. «The matter is very clear. The shit of men’s football is being transferred to women’s. There are ten teams that are part of the employer’s association and another five (Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Athletic, Alavés and Madrid CFF) that do not want to know anything about that employer’s association, and the statutes will not be approved by a majority. All the clubs must agree ”, details Ramos resigned.

Television rights

As a temporary solution to the problem, the Federation and the CSD agreed two months ago with Spanish Television that Teledeporte would broadcast the women’s league, but only the five teams mentioned above gave the go-ahead, which is why the agreement did not finish closing. Except Real Madrid and Barcelona, which broadcast the matches of their teams through their respective television channels, the rest of the matches cannot be seen. The big two want to avoid that, as with men’s football, the centralized sale of television rights takes place. Finding bridges in this matter is going to be difficult.

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A serious problem because, without television, the income of the clubs is minimal. There are hardly any sponsorships, the money raised by box office is symbolic and survives thanks to the accounts of the men’s teams, but those who do not have that support are at the limit. And in the meantime, female players suffer uncertainty and insecurity about many of their rights, such as the schedule of your working day, the full and part-time minimum wage, vacation days, pregnancy leave or disability insurance. All this is impossible to advance without the professionalization of football and a new version of the collective agreement. Hence, images are produced as surreal as doctors treating rival players due to the lack of doctors in the injured soccer player’s team. This is what happened to Rayo two weeks ago in their match against Athletic, when the Chilean Camila Saez received a blow to the head.

Rayo himself, Real Sociedad, Levante and Villarreal, have been sanctioned by the Competition Committee with the loss of three points for not wear the Federation logo or by covering it up repeatedly as a measure of protest against the non-professionalization agreement. A punishment from the RFEF for “non-compliance, conscious and repeated, of orders, instructions, agreements or regulatory obligations” regarding uniformity. In the League in which the best soccer player in the world plays, everything is noise and controversy.

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