Barcelona and Real Madrid clash with LaLiga over Clásico

The Spanish Football Federation's Competition Committee has rescheduled the Clásico for 18 December, in the process siding with the two clubs, who prefer that date to the 4th or the 7th, the days proposed by LaLiga chief Javier Tebas. This looks far from over, though. Tebas says he's going to take the case to Spain's National Sports Council and, if need be, the regular courts. He's against the 18th because it was reserved for the Copa del Rey (in its new and exciting format). On top of that, the Club World Cup is also on, with the rights sold to countries all over the globe (thus causing a problem for many LaLiga clients, who have paid for two products and will only be able to offer one live). For now, Tebas refuses to set a kick-off time on the 18th.

Venue switch idea sparks tug-of-war over dates

It all began when he suggested switching the venues: this Saturday at the Bernabéu, and the second Clásico of the season at the Camp Nou. By then, he reasoned, things should have cooled down a bit in Catalonia. But he didn't run the idea by anybody first - something he's got form for. Barcelona weren't up for it: they were all set to host the game this time around and were unwilling to countenance even the merest suggestion that this was no longer feasible. As for Real Madrid, they argued that it didn't suit them because (and this time it's true) the Bernabéu is undergoing maintenance. They had no matches there between the Granada game three weeks ago and the visit of Leganés on 30 October, so scheduled a swift round of home improvements. The Clásico would be a spanner in the works.

Since then, we've witnessed an almighty tug-of-war over the competing dates. I can readily understand why Barcelona didn't like Tebas' solution: it means playing Real Madrid right after their away clash with Atlético Madrid and six days before visiting Inter Milan in the Champions League. In Madrid's case, their LaLiga commitments are not so much of an issue; however, they argue that it's very close to their European trip to Bruges on the 11th, in the final round of the group stage. Who knows what they'll need from that game. Both clubs say the 18th is a much better fit, and any disruption this might cause to the Copa del Rey is really by the by for them. So, in short: Tebas massively jumped the gun, and Real Madrid, Barcelona and the Federation have been only too happy to leave him hanging.