The plans were revealed on Tuesday by La Liga president Javier Tebas, who said the possibility of canceling the season was not being considered by the major European leagues. He added that Spanish first division clubs were not expected to play outside their stadiums, but that some might be forced to do so due to scheduled construction work.
La Liga is aware that it remains in the hands of health authorities and a lockout will be in effect until April 26 at the earliest. But Tebas, who is in almost daily contact with Uefa, the Association of European Clubs and officials of the European leagues, is confident that the season could be finished by August. “Studies are underway and I am sure that both [European and domestic] the competitions will be over, “he said.
Tebas said the La Liga had lost 25% of its annual revenue in two months and that the cost of not renewing the season would be € 1 billion (£ 880 million). If returned but behind closed doors, La Liga calculates losses closer to 300 million euros (£ 265 million). Tebas continues to press for lower wages, but insisted that Spanish football will not ask for state aid. He said the league would send a message to the government that action was needed, even without supporters.
When asked if the possibility of canceling the season was being considered and what would happen to the title, European positions and relegation zone, Tebas replied, “It is only something that I would consider if I was asleep; if I’m awake, not at all. We don’t envision that; it is something that will only be studied to the point where it absolutely must be. I do not wish to open the debate now because it is useless and only generates a conflict of interest.
“None of the big or medium leagues have any plans to end the season. Not returning is not an option we think of at all. “He added that he” should not be therefore difficult ”to find a collective solution to extend players’ contracts beyond June 30.
“A protocol is being developed by three medical teams in the past two weeks for a return to training that includes the ability to do coronavirus testing and isolation in the locker room. When? We can’t say yet. The Spanish medical authorities will tell us. There is a state of alert until April 26 and we will not start training until this point at the earliest. The most likely options currently for returning from the matches are May 28-29, June 6-7 and June 28-29.
“We will be looking at other scenarios as they happen, especially when we see what’s going on in April. We expect to be able to finish in August; we think it’s viable. UEFA has made a big effort to allow us to optimize the dates.
“The last things that will return to normal are theaters, cinemas, shows that people attend. We are also an industry like that but we can also restart part of our activity without anyone because most of our income comes from television. So this is not a case where we receive special treatment; is that when we come back, we can do it in a way that will allow us to exploit part of our business.
“I think it is our obligation and that of the government as well, because we are talking about an industry which represents 1.37% of the GDP and which directly and indirectly creates 180,000 jobs. We shouldn’t just think of it as players and teams; it’s an industry. “