Spain 2008-09

XXX XXXSenior Writer IJuly 12, 2008

The fixture list for the 2008-09 season will not be completed until later this month, when the relevant authorities hold their annual meetings. However, key dates have already been set by the League (LFP) and the Federation (RFEF), with the season scheduled to kick off the weekend of August 30/31 and end on May 31.

The Cup Final had been pencilled in after the season finishes, but Spain's success in Euro 2008 means that they will be taking part in the Confederations Cup in South Africa from June 14 to 29, and the Copa del Rey final will therefore be brought forward to May 13.

The first division will be known as the "Liga BBVA" next season after a three year sponsorship deal signed with one of Spain's largest banks, and the second division will be known as the "Liga Adelante" after one of the bank's business divisions.

The composition of the second division is still not clear though after relegated Cádiz appealed against the result in their last match at Hércules, claiming the three points on the grounds that the Alicante based side fielded an ineligible player.

The appeal was turned down by the disciplinary committee, but the club will be appealing to a higher level. If successful, Córdoba could go down in their place, although there is a possibility as well of a league with 23 or even 24 clubs (to make up even numbers), in which case Racing Ferrol would be reprieved as well.

The make-up could also be affected as well if any of the second division sides fail to meet their contractual commitments with players by the July 31 deadline, in which case they would be relegated.

Real Sociedad and Celta are well behind with payments, but both have decided to file for protection from creditors under the Spanish "Ley Concursal."

Unlike in other countries, there is no sporting penalty for doing so, and for example Las Palmas and Alavés both avoided the drop this way in recent seasons as the courts ruled that they could not pay players whilst the club was under administration.

Levante could follow suit if a deal with a potential new owners falls through, and other teams such as Salamanca, Albacete and Elche have also been reported to the players' association AFE for non-payment of wages and salaries.


Alby Jnr