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Players still set to strike at struggling Levante

SoccerNews in La Liga 24 Apr 2008

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Players at struggling Spanish first division side Levante said on Thursday that they will carry out their threat and go on strike over unpaid wages and bonuses at Recreativo Huelva on Sunday.

Senior professional Luis Manuel Rubiales told Spanish media that they were expecting someone from the club’s board of directors to arrive at training on Thursday with a formal bank guarantee that they would be paid, but no one came.

Rubiales appealed at a press conference on Wednesday for the Valencia city council to step in and provide the club with financial assistance so that the debts could be cleared.

The club’s president Julio Romero said later on Thursday that he had reached an agreement with the city council over providing financial guarantees and he expected that the proposal would be put the the players on Friday.

Some players are still owed bonuses from last season.

The local newspaper Levante EMV said on Thursday that overall debts to the players total 18 million euros and that the club could only raise 6.4 million euros, including assistance from the Valencia city council.

However the newspaper suggested that further loans could be secured by using Levante’s stadium as a guarantee.

Levante are at the bottom of the Spanish first division and 15 points away from safety with just five games remaining.

If they do not take the field against Recreativo, they will forfeit the game 3-0 and so be relegated.

Should the strike continue for another week, when Levante are scheduled to play Espanyol, they will be relegated straight to the Segunda B, third tier of Spanish football, at the end of the season.

Likewise should the unpaid debts to the players not be resolved by the end of June then the club would also face relegation to the Segunda B under Spanish league administration rules.

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