La Liga President Sets Out Timeline for Season’s End & Plans for 2020/21

Javier Tebas
La Liga President Javier Tebas | Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

La Liga president Javier Tebas has outlined his plans for both the end to the current season, as well as the 2020/21 campaign.

Like every other major football league, the Spanish top-flight was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. But clubs have been preparing for a return to action, with training resuming at the start of May, and the league was also given permission from Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to resume in June.

Speaking to Marca, Tebas revealed more details on his plans for restarting both La Liga and the Segunda División, as well as mentioning the date he has set for the following season to begin.

“We’ll restart, if God allows, on June 11,” the 57-year-old said. “We’re hoping that Madrid and Barcelona pass into Phase Two [of the lockdown de-escalation plan], which is where we can play.

“There are more than 130 people at LaLiga working so that everything can be done in a new way. Travel, organisation, everything. We’re prepared and the important thing will be the day we finish the league.

“We’ll start next season on September 12.”

Tebas also discussed how he planned to give viewers a choice in how they watch the remaining La Liga matches, which will all be played behind closed doors.

“Tonight, we have audiovisual tests so that the viewer can choose two images: the real one and one with a virtual crowd and crowd noise. We want to give the choice to the fans: silence or a simulation of the crowds. The tests I’ve seen are interesting and really catch your eye, but there will be two options.”

It’s already emerged that the league plan to begin with the Seville derby on 11 June, with ambitious plans to play games every day up until 19 July. This latest announcement from the La Liga president suggests that most teams will have a pre-season break of seven weeks before starting off the following campaign.

The three clubs of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid are also still competing in the unfinished Champions League, which is set to resume in August. Should it get played, the trio could have less than two weeks to prepare for the European club competition after the end of the Spanish league season.

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Gareth Bale Continues Media Trolling With New Football(ish) Training Photo

Gareth Bale
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Wales. Golf. Madrid.

Three words that caused such a stir. Whether it was a media frenzy and an entire fanbase ticked off beyond belief or a collective round of applause and laughter from everyone else, it got plenty of people talking.

While his Real Madrid adventure has taken a rather progressive plummet over the past two seasons, Gareth Bale’s golfing success has only just begun.

Well, not really begun, since Bale has been playing golf for a good number of years. But it’s only really been cast into the limelight as a parallel to his struggles at the Santiago Bernabeu. With his Los Blancos spell taking a turn for the worse, his love of golfing has been used as weapon against him by a certain country’s media.

In times like these, when you’re still a world-class footballer getting paid a shedload of money and living a pretty swanky life, one can presume, sometimes, it’s best just to embrace it.

Bale certainly does that.

As we saw when Wales secured qualification to the upcoming European Championships, the forward had no issue in celebrating wildly with a ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid,’ flag that sought to rank his priorities in order.

It was one man’s answer to a nation’s lambasting, and no matter how ill-judged you may have thought it was, it was bloody funny.

That died down ever so slightly, but the bizarre furore over his love for something else in white has always stayed prevalent. And, in a bid to keep up to date with his one-man battle against media scrutiny, he’s done it again.

With Madrid back in training ahead of La Liga’s resumption, the players took time to pose for a photo. Each member did their best flex, all bar one, of course.

What else was Bale actually going to do?

Gareth BaleGareth Bale
Stu Forster/Getty Images

He’s loving this. You can tell. He couldn’t give less of a s–t about what people think, and we have to commend him for that.

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The 20 Most Valuable Football Clubs in Europe – Ranked

Mariano Diaz
Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Football clubs’ finances may have taken a substantial knock as a result of there being, well, no football, but nevertheless Europe still boasts some sides with unmatched riches.

No matter their current predicaments on the pitch, some clubs still reign supreme when it comes to their overall value. Leagues across the continent feature, but the English top division boasts eight representatives in the current top 20.

The fifth annual KPMG report ranks clubs based on their enterprise value, which analyses profitability, popularity, sporting potential and television rights, as well as stadium ownership up to 1 January, 2020.

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JEFF PACHOUD/Getty Images

Value: $543m/£439m/€489m

Position: +2

You won’t be surprised to hear that Lyon are not the most valuable French side in Europe.

Yet, their jump up two places from the last report comes off the back of a disappointing league campaign in which they finished seventh, which is a slight surprise.

Jamie Vardy, James MaddisonJamie Vardy, James Maddison
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Value: $558m/£452m/€502m

Position: -3

The 2015/16 Premier League champions soared into the upper echelons of Europe’s most valuable clubs, aided by their resulting Champions League campaign.

They’ve slipped down slightly this time around, but with elite European football likely to follow next season, we could see them rise up the table once again.

West Ham United v SouthamptonWest Ham United v Southampton
Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

Value: $561m/£454m/€505m

Position: -1

Still hovering around at the right end of the value table, there is every possibility that we could see West Ham fall significantly in just a few months’ time.

With their Premier League status hanging by a thread this term, a drop into the second tier could have big implications on their financial clout

Dries Mertens, Lorenzo InsigneDries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Value: $590m/£477m/€531m

Position: +1

The first Serie A side on this list are Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli, who climb one place into 17th.

100% owned by Aurelio De Laurentiis (via Filmauro), the club are also one of the associate members of the European Club Association.

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JASPER JACOBS/Getty Images

Value: $602m/£487m/€542m

Position: +5

Backed by NEEP Roma Holding S.p.A, the capital city club haven’t claimed any silverware since 2008 but shoot up the table nevertheless.

It’s clearly the Chris Smalling effect.

Rabbi Matondo, Weston McKennieRabbi Matondo, Weston McKennie
Pool/Getty Images

Value: $814m/£659m/€733m

Position: -1

There is a big difference value between 16th and 15th, with German side Schalke 04 boasting vast riches despite their lack of on-field success in recent seasons.

The last time they tasted trophy success was in 2011, when under the guidance and Ralf Rangnick they lifted the DFB-Pokal.

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NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/Getty Images

Value: $983m/£796m/€886m

Position: +1

One of Europe’s biggest sides come in at 14th, something you’d expect them to do when they can afford to splash £74m on Romelu Lukaku.

Their wealth hasn’t granted them much success on the pitch as of late, but they could very well be title winners come the end of the season – with a large amount of luck on their side.

Marcos LlorenteMarcos Llorente
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Value: $1.197bn/£970m/€1.078bn

Position: +0

Now moving close to one billion pounds worth of value are Spain’s other capital club, who are regularly floating around the top end of La Liga, as well as featuring in the Champions League.

Boasting a shiny new stadium that is packed out each week has seen their value boost, while the club itself clearly has money in the bank with their £113m spending spree on Joao Felix.

Jadon Sancho, Erling HaalandJadon Sancho, Erling Haaland
Pool/Getty Images

Value: $1.281bn/£1.037bn/€1.154bn

Position: +0

With one of the finest stadia in world football and a raucous fan following, the value of Dortmund is naturally high.

‘Sporting potential’ comes into the overall rankings, so all they need to do is sort out their inferiority complex and they’ll fly up on this list.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juan CuadradoCristiano Ronaldo, Juan Cuadrado
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Value: $1.735bn/£1.405bn/€1.563bn/

Position: -1

Italy’s most successful club also happens to be its most valuable, boasting star names and huge popularity.

They’re in the driving seat to add further gloss to their reputation, sitting atop the Serie A table ahead of the league’s eventual resumption.

Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick AubameyangAlexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

Value: $1.852bn/£1.500bn/€1.669bn

Position: -2

Their on-field struggles may be painstakingly evident, but Arsenal still find themselves among the ten most valuable clubs in Europe.

If it was based on sporting potential alone, however, you’d back them to be outside the top 100.

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PHILIPPE DESMAZES/Getty Images

Value: $1.911bn/£1.548bn/€1.722bn

Position: +2

France’s big boys appear ninth in the table backed by Qatar Sports Investments who, if you didn’t already know, have quite a lot of money.

Challenging (winning) in every competition on France every season, as well as competing in the Champions League ensures they remain a major force in football. And, not to mention, they’ve got two of the best players in the world.

Jan VertonghenJan Vertonghen
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Value: $2.067bn/£1.674m/€1.862m

Position: +1

The pride of north London is always at stake, but while this may not be on quite the same level as beating one another in a football match, Spurs fans will enjoy seeing them leapfrog Arsenal as the more valuable club.

Talk about a so-called ‘power shift’ has been going on for a while, as Spurs have been climbing up the table while Arsenal have been slipping down it. Even it terms of value, it seems that is the case too.

Olivier GiroudOlivier Giroud
Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Value: $2.218bn/£1.797bn/€1.998bn

Position: -1

Backed by a wealthy Russian owner, Chelsea will be somewhat disappointed to see themselves drop down a place in the rankings. Or maybe they won’t since they’re, y’know, still rich.

Frank Lampard is building an interesting young side over in west London this season, different to the likes we’ve come familiar with over the years, and with wealth on his side, success could be forthcoming.

Not in the Champions League this season, though, it must be said.

Sergio AgueroSergio Aguero
Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Value: $2.606bn/£2.110bn/€2.340bn

Position: -1

All those wonderful footballers and Premier League titles and they can’t even make it into the top five? Poor form.

But truth is City did make a loss last year. Granted it was a tiny one, but a loss is a loss at the end of the day. Their financial situation, coupled with another English side’s booming situation, has seen them drop down one place and just behind….

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JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images

Value: $2.658bn/£2.153bn/€2.386bn

Position: +2

Champions League winners last year and inevitable Premier League champions this season has done plenty for Liverpool’s value -19.3%’s worth, to be precise.

One of the finest sides in Europe and backed by an immense fanbase, their iconic Anfield home is packed out each and every week, with all the criteria used to determine value earning them a top five spot in the rankings.

Joshua KimmichJoshua Kimmich
Pool/Getty Images

Value: $2.878bn/£2.331bn/€2.585bn

Position: -1

The German giants drop down one place in the rankings but still boast incredible wealth and value. Constantly challenging for titles and regularly featuring in the latter stages of the Champions League certainly helps their case.

It looks almost done and dusted they’ll claim at least one trophy this season, with their place atop the Bundesliga table looking unlikely to be surpassed following their recent victory over Dortmund.

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad  - La LigaFC Barcelona v Real Sociedad  - La Liga
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Value: $3.193bn/£2.586bn/€2.867bn

Position: +1

Sneaking their way into the top three this year is a club with immense global recognition. Sure, most of the clubs in this list can say that, but they’re not Barcelona.

One half of Spanish football’s top two sides, their popularity, stadium, wealth and sporting potential meant they were always going to be among the most valuable sides in Europe, something that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

Scott McTominayScott McTominay
Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Value: $3.342bn/£2.707bn/€3.000bn

Position: +0

If only their value was reflected in team’s performances. Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as the club’s manager, United have failed to match their previous success – but that hasn’t prevented them from being one of the biggest clubs in world football. Perhaps even the biggest.

Keeping their place as England’s powerhouse club, as well as second spot in the rankings, they recorded a profit last year and with the Premier League resuming and Champions League football in their sights, they could finally be on course for a return to success.

Mariano Diaz, Sergio RamosMariano Diaz, Sergio Ramos
Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Value: $3.478bn/£2.817bn/€3.124bn

Position: +0

Nobody was going to knock Madrid off their perch this year either, as they remain the most valuable club on the continent. They’ve boasted a slight increase on their value within the last 12 months.

They have all the aspects one could desire from a top football club, with world class players, an incredible stadium, an iconic kit, rich history and so much more going in their favour. In footballing terms they could still lift La Liga this term, and they’re not yet out of the Champions League. The least you’d expect for a club of their stature.

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La Liga Poised to Restart With Seville Derby – Ahead of Five Weeks of Non-Stop Football

La Liga Home Shirts 2019-20
La Liga Home Shirts 2019-20 | Visionhaus/Getty Images

La Liga is set to resume on 11 June with the Seville derby, with games set to be played every day until 19 July.

Spanish football was brought to a grinding halt back in March due to the COVID-19 crisis with plans for its return ramping up recently.

Villarreal CF v Real Valladolid CF - La LigaVillarreal CF v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga
Villarreal CF v Real Valladolid CF – La Liga | Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Players went back to training earlier this month, while broadcasting deals which will see the league broadcast live in England for the first time ever have also been agreed.

Following a meeting between all 42 First and Second Division Spanish clubs, a restart date of June 11 for both leagues has been confirmed (via Cadenaser). Spectators will be treated to an unprecedented feast of football over a five week period, with games being played every day until 19 July when the curtain comes down on the season.

After the Segunda División campaign has been completed, the promotion play off – contested between teams that finish between third and sixth position – will be played.

Prior to football’s enforced break, La Liga was finely poised. Leaders Barcelona – who dispensed of manager Ernesto Valverde back in January – were two points clear of Clasico rivals Real Madrid in second, while the race for Champions League qualification was also hotting up.

Third placed Sevilla and seventh placed Valencia were separated by just five points with surprise package Real Sociedad and Getafe both ahead of sixth placed Atletico Madrid. At the other end of the table, Espanyol were cut adrift in last position – a full six points from safety – with Leganes, Mallorca, Celta Vigo and Eibar also in relegation trouble.

While there will be no spectators to enjoy all this drama, television viewers will not be watching games in silence with plans to pump in crowd noise from previous fixtures being announced on Tuesday.

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Real Madrid ‘Could Offer 4 Players’ in Exchange for Man Utd’s Paul Pogba

Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Real Madrid could offer Manchester United the chance to get up to four of their (unwanted, probably) players in exchange for the Paul Pogba.

Pogba was the subject of much transfer speculation last summer as he ultimately stayed at Old Trafford. However, after assisting two goals on the opening weekend, the 27-year-old has endured a season blighted by injury, making only five Premier League starts in 2019/20.

Real, who currently sit second in La Liga behind Barcelona, are looking to bolster their midfield – with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric both the wrong side of 30.

The Sun claims that Martin Odegaard, James Rodríguez, Lucas Vazquez and Brahim Diaz are each on the table for United, in return for Pogba. Both clubs have taken a financial hit from the suspension of play following the coronavirus outbreak and Real Madrid have turned to swap deals in a bid to save money and still get their deals done.

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has already spoken out about the unrealistic nature of huge transfer fees in the wake of this pandemic, although this has not dampened talk of Pogba’s exit.

The former France international Willy Sagnol recently revealed the advanced stage of Pogba’s negotiations with Real Madrid. He added fuel to the fire stoked by claims that Pogba will go to ‘war’ with the club to force through an exit in the summer.

While swap deals do pose an alternative to more traditional transfer transactions, they are incredibly rare, especially at the elite level of Manchester United and Real Madrid. A deal which can satisfy the needs of two players is complicated enough, not to mention the complexities involved in a swap of as many as five individuals.

Pogba may very well leave Manchester United in the upcoming transfer window, whenever that may be, but the likelihood of the Frenchman – and his highly valuable image rights – leaving the Premier League in exchange for four Real Madrid players, seems…well, slim.

Three Real Madrid rejects and a promising prospect for one of United’s best players? Dream on.

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