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Spanish league hardens stance on strike threat

Talks between league officials, the government and parliamentary groups had failed to produce any progress, the LFP, which represents first and second division clubs, said in a statement on their website on Tuesday.

"Therefore, the LFP stands by the decision... to postpone the matchday which corresponds to April 3, until there are concrete developments in the dialogue with the administration," the statement said.

The LFP, which has the backing of the Spanish football federation (RFEF), wants to scrap the free match rule to help strengthen clubs' bargaining powers in negotiations on audiovisual rights with TV companies.

They also want guarantees about how much cash they are entitled to receive from betting and lottery revenue.

On the weekend under threat, April 2/3, La Liga leaders Barcelona are due to play at Villarreal, while second-placed Real Madrid host Sporting Gijon.