The on-going saga of La Liga's plan to stage matches in the USA has seemingly taken another turn.
In August, La Liga announced its plans to stage at least one league match in the USA per season. The deal would last 15-years and was part of a deal signed between the Spanish League and US media company Relevant, who created the International Champions Cup.
However, not long after the announcement, La Liga players were up in arms. A union meeting between the league's biggest players including Koke, Sergio Ramos and Sergio Busquets took place, in which players stated that they were angry with the lack of consultation involved in the process. The players also felt the decision was disrespectful to Spanish football fans and would threaten to strike if it went ahead.
Some saw this as the players standing up for what they believed in, whereas sceptics interpreted the union action as the players merely trying to get a bigger cut of the money made from the 15-year deal. Whatever the reasoning, it certainly put a spanner in the works.
Now, according to Spanish outlet as5, the Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) are now attempting to swoon the players and their union (AFE). The deal the LFP are offering is that players would now be part of any further consultation process. The LFP will also setup a 15-day trial for 25 out of contract Spanish footballers during which they will train with MLS clubs as a way of helping them to get a new contract.
The issue for the AFE, is that the LFP does not actually require the consent of the union for the match to go ahead, it just requires consent from the Spanish Higher Sports Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UEFA, CONCACAF and the United States Soccer Federation. Should they get consent from the required authorities, then the first La Liga match to be held in the US would be Catalonian derby Girona vs. Barcelona.
La Liga's proposal has divided the game. Some see it as a way of expanding the sport, whilst also giving Spanish football fans who live in the States the chance to see their favourite players.
However, many others believe that this is further proof that football has become merely a profit making commodity.