The Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) players union has threatened to call a two-day strike for players competing in Liga F (formerly Primera Division Femenina), the country's top-tier women's soccer competition, amid an ongoing salary dispute. 

The players plan to strike for the first two days of Liga F's 2023-24 season on September 8 and 9.

A meeting is planned for today (September 4) between AFE and the Interconfederal Mediation and Arbitration Service, where if an agreement is not reached, the strike will be formally announced to Liga F.

In May, it was proposed that League F players should be paid a base salary of €30,000 in 2026. However, the league responded by proposing that they would be increasing the salary by €16,5000 for the 2022-2023 season, €17,500 for 2023-2024 and €19,000 for 2024-2025.

AFE said in a statement: “After more than a year of negotiations, and given the impossibility of reaching a satisfactory agreement with the employers, the unions, as representatives of the workers, have been forced to call two days of strike.

“The promotion of this strike is the result of the stagnation in the negotiations of the collective agreement; The aim is to advance in these negotiations, achieve fair and dignified treatment for the soccer players, address and reduce the existing wage gap, among other issues.”

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By GlobalData

The 2022-23 season also began with a delay due to the lack of agreement with the arbitration group.

Barcelona went on to win the title for the eighth time in its history, ahead of Real Madrid and Levante. The Catalan team closed the season with 28 wins, one draw and one loss.

The dispute comes a year into global sports subscription streaming platform DAZN's domestic and global rights deal for Liga F, which is set to run until the end of the 2026-27 season. 

Through the deal struck with La Liga Profesional de Futbol Femenino (LPFF) body last September, DAZN will cover the Liga F top-tier league in all territories in which it has a presence, including Spain.

LaLiga was named as the exclusive commercial agent of the Primera Division Femenina through the 2025-26 season after striking a deal with the LPFF in August 2022. 

Under the agreement, LaLiga will market the commercial rights for the women’s league, including all official sponsorships and licenses, from the upcoming 2022-23 season through 2027-28. The deal does not include broadcast rights.

LaLiga has pledged the agreement will see at least €42 million ($43.4 million) injected into the women’s league, with deals ranging from title sponsorship to competition licenses.

Finetwork, the Spanish mobile and fiber telecoms operator, is the title sponsor of Liga F in a three-year deal struck last October.

The LPFF was established by Spanish soccer’s governing body RFEF in 2021 in preparation for the professionalization of women’s club soccer in the country for the 2022-23 season. While the organization sits as part of the RFEF, it enjoys full autonomy over decisions, like LaLiga.

Under professionalization laws in Spain, the RFEF will hand over the organization of the league to LPFF and clubs will now have the right to manage commercial and broadcasting rights, as well as their income.