A Spanish court has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the RFEF, the national soccer federation, by production firm and rights agency Mediapro in regards to scheduling of top-flight LaLiga matches.
Mediapro had opened legal proceedings against the governing body and sought damages, as well as interest and costs, over matches not being scheduled outside of weekends in the top Spanish league, primarily during the 2019-20 season.
The RFEF had blocked LaLiga from staging games on Fridays and Mondays, to the frustration of Mediapro which holds a package of domestic rights.
In its ruling, the court in Majadahonda sided with the federation and “confirmed the legality of the RFEF's actions in relation to the Monday matches.”
Mediapro has also been ordered to pay legal costs.
In a statement, the RFEF said: “The judgment dismisses Mediapro's claim in its entirety, imposes payment of the procedural costs and confirms that the RFEF has acted at all times in a lawful manner and in accordance with the law.”
The national body added that the court acknowledged LaLiga matchdays "extend precisely to Saturday and Sunday and that the concept of official day assumed by RFEF and LaLiga is clear” and that the scheduling of league games on “unofficial days (Monday/Friday) is not an exclusive decision of an organisation.”
LaLiga itself has been in a legal battle with the league over the scheduling issue and appealed an initial court ruling which stated matches could not be played on Mondays back in 2019.
The league threatened to sue the federation for loss of revenue from the timeslots not being used.
The dispute meant the Spanish top-flight was unable to schedule Monday or Friday matches for the first seven rounds of its calendar in the 2020-21 season.
The issue was temporarily resolved by the CSD, the country’s high sports council, which ruled in favour of LaLiga and allowed for games to be played on those days, which the league proceeded to do for the remaining 31 rounds.
Earlier this year, LaLiga was ultimately permitted to permanently schedule weekly matches on Monday and Friday nights from this season after winning the protracted legal case against the RFEF.
The Provincial Court of Madrid ruled in favour of LaLiga in the dispute and declared that the RFEF’s behaviour on the matter was “unfair” as it had attempted to block the league’s efforts to stage games on those days.
The matter was finally resolved after the Madrid court ruled that LaLiga is responsible for the scheduling of its matches.
Domestic broadcast rights are presently held by Mediapro and Telefonica, the telecoms firm, until the end of this season. The tender for the next cycle was recently issued by LaLiga, with deals of up to five years available.
Mediapro and the RFEF have been involved in multiple legal cases recently and earlier this month, the CNMC, the Spanish competition regulator, dismissed a claim by the federation of collusion between the sports rights agency, Telefonica and broadcasters RTVE and Mediaset in the domestic bidding process for the Copa del Rey knockout cup competition.
Meanwhile, the RFEF has appointed Emilio Herrero Gonzalez from Atletico Madrid as its new chief financial officer.
Gonzalez joins the organisation having spent more than a decade overseeing Atletico’s financial operations.
He will take over the role recently vacated by Angel Manuel Alvarez Capon.