Spanish minister to mediate in TV rights dispute

Spain's secretary of state for sport, Miguel Cardenal, will attend an emergency meeting of first and second division clubs on Tuesday to try to help resolve a dispute over TV rights and other issues that threatens to delay the start of the season.

"Miguel Cardenal... will take part tomorrow in the assembly of the professional football league (LFP)," his office said on their official Twitter feed.

Thirteen first division clubs have said they will postpone the season opening this weekend unless broadcasters Canal+ and Mediapro, who are fighting over rights ownership, put aside their differences.

Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Real Betis, Celta Vigo, Espanyol, Getafe, Granada, Real Mallorca, Osasuna, Rayo Vallecano, Real Sociedad, Sevilla and Real Zaragoza have also made several other demands, including for a "transparent and regulated" system for fixing kick-off times.

They are unhappy with the LFP management and have accused officials of helping some clubs with favourable times that disadvantage others.

Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido said on Monday the Andalusian club would not be represented at the meeting because the group of 13 had wanted only the first division sides to attend and not the second division ones.

He added, however, that he did not think the first weekend of La Liga action was under threat, although he warned some clubs were still considering delaying the season opening.

"The president and the vice president of the LFP have convened a general assembly we did not request so Sevilla will not take part," Del Nido told a news conference presenting new signing Alberto Botia.

The 13 clubs, who may be joined by one or two more, would issue a statement outlining their position, Del Nido added.

"I don't think the start of La Liga is in danger although some of those clubs are proposing that it doesn't begin on Saturday," he said.

Many Spanish clubs are also unhappy with the way Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate revenue from audiovisual rights due to the lack of a system of collective bargaining and income sharing like those used in rival European leagues.