The equitable decision by judge Andrés Sánchez Magro last Friday was greeted as an excessive small victory by head of Spain's FA Rubiales and came as a blow for LaLiga's Javier Tebas who, along with the club members propose to challenge the decision. Just to recap: Rubiales was anxious to do away with games being staged on Mondays and Fridays. Tebas sought legal action with the legal verdict giving the green light to matches on Friday but not Mondays. This was an initial ruling with the legal recommendation being that both sides sit down and thrash out a mutually suitable agreement, which, to be honest is what we all want to see. Rubiales took it upon himself to declare his side as the moral winner and Tebas reacted citing imminent financial losses which LaLiga and in turn it's club members will suffer.
What is a matchday?
The whole debate could take on theological proportions...what is the definition of a matchday? Rubiales advocates that LaLiga have to schedule all matches over both a Saturday and Sunday and should be limited to these two days alone. Why is that? Originally all league games were played on a Sunday and games were only played on Saturdays from the 1950's onward as clubs were involved in European mid-week action. Games were introduced to a Monday night approximately 20 year ago when Spanish TV network Antena 3 showed the Monday night game. In the past few years, Fridays have also been introduced as a game-day to ensure yet another televised match. Games have also been played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and even Thursdays as part of midweek matches.
Battle of egos
So, looking at this back-drop and trying to answer the question of what is a matchday? Who has the right to assert their views on the scheduling of domestic top flight football? Once again, it appears to be a question of who has the loudest voice. Tebas has been used to carry on without any interference after he kept previous FA president (Ángel Maria Villar) out of arms reach with financial compensation. Rubiales has taking over and is anxious to make up for lost time during the Villar era and has been far from happy with the situation he found at the FA. His relationship with Tebas was already fraught with tension from his time as head of player representation body AFE. Tebas insists on still doing what he wants to and and we end up with a battle of egos between two gentlemen who frankly have soured much in the world of football and made life that little more complicated for all within the industry.