I was interested to see that La Liga went on strike last weekend over the creation of a salary fund to protect the wages of Spanish players against non-payment by Spanish League clubs. In spite of the success of Spanish Football, most clubs other than Barcelona and Real Madrid experience severe financial difficulties routinely. As many as 22 of the 42 professional clubs have passed through administration over the last few years and €52million is owed in unpaid wages to players.

The problem is not difficult to spot – Real Madrid and Barcelona take 3 times as much of the TV monies paid to La Liga than any other club. So, they use their bargaining power to max out on revenues from the game, leaving other clubs to fight for the scraps. This is a “users” approach to deal-making, where no attention is paid to the needs of any other parties.

This may seem great for the top 2 clubs, but actually, like most “user” negotiating behaviour, it is short sighted. How great would it be for Barcelona and Real Madrid if the other clubs were so impoverished that they couldn’t offer effective competition? It would not be good at all. The League would be very boring, and actually Real Madrid and Barcelona players would not get sufficiently tested to make them tough enough or sophisticated enough for the Champions League.

You only have to look at what has happened in Scotland to see the force of this. Celtic and Rangers dominate and other clubs rarely get a look in. Which club other than Celtic or Rangers last won the League recently? The result is that actually Celtic and Rangers, along with their poorer cousins, are not nearly good enough for European competition – indeed they have all been knocked out in the earliest stages this season.

On Friday morning a deal was reached between the Players’ Association and the League to guarantee payment of the players’ wages, meaning that the Spanish league will finally kick off this weekend. Although exact details of this deal are unconfirmed, it is believed that the League has agreed to pay off all of the unpaid wages and to set up a wage guarantee fund of around €10-11m to cover payments to players should any club enter administration in the future.

In reality though, this is somewhat of an uncomfortable state of affairs. Should it be the responsibility of the League to bail out clubs who are financially broken largely because the two richest clubs take the lion’s share of the revenue? Barcelona and Real Madrid should be acting more like “fusers” when they negotiate revenue streams from sources like TV Rights, and be prepared to allow other clubs a higher cut. This would result in a stronger and healthier La Liga both from a financial and a footballing perspective, which would undoubtedly benefit the top 2 clubs as well…