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Who can bring Tebas and Rubiales closer together?


LaLiga president Javier Tebas and Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) chief Luis Rubiales have been involved in an ugly and unnecessary spat for some time now.

As a result, we turn on the TV to see the rehearsed appearances of two leaders criticizing and belittling each other. This is not what we expect from the two heads of Spain’s highest footballing bodies. We expect them to collaborate and work together for the better of Spanish of football.

We’re not interested in which one of them can for piss longer. It is about taking advantage of the ability of Tebas to activate things and generate revenue and at the same time respect the space and authority of the Federation as the governing body.

The sloppiness of former president Ángel María Villar allowed Tebas to occupy some of the Federation’s space by paying for it. The last agreement, which gave Tebas rights to the 'naming' of the competition, the schedule and the official ball, included a payment to the RFEF of about 65 million euros.

That agreement ends on June 30. Now the question is to fine-tune the relationship. Without a doubt, Tebas must return some of the space to the RFEF and it is reasonable for Rubiales to claim that. The first thing they must do is define what each one’s role should be in a particular matter to avoid the intrusion on each other’s space. It shouldn’t very difficult to speak reasonably about that.

The problem is the animosity that built up between them while Rubiales was president of the Spanish Footballers' Association (AFE), and now they are both comfortable in that inertia. The question is who can bring them closer together? Where is the Henry Kissinger figure that can mediate between them?