Atletico president unhappy with new TV schedule

Enrique Cerezo
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo. Photo: PA

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has accused the Spanish Football League (LFP) of bowing to pressure from TV companies after it was announced there will be three Monday matches on the opening weekend of the Primera Division season.

Deportivo La Coruna v Osasuna, Rayo Vallecano v Granada and Real Zaragoza v Real Valladolid have all been scheduled for Monday, August 20, with the latter not due to kick-off until 2300 local time.

Atletico also begin their campaign at 2300 local time on Sunday, August 19, at Levante, while Real Madrid and Barcelona start off the same day against Valencia and Real Sociedad respectively at 1900 and 2100.

Cerezo claims it is incomprehensible that the league body implemented such kick-off times off their own back.

He told Marca: "It doesn't seem to me that the LFP drew out these kick-off times. If this schedule has been decided by the LFP then they all need to go, from the president right down to the bottom of the league."

Cerezo is particularly concerned with the programme for the following Monday night, which is due to see Atletico host Athletic Bilbao - just four days before they face Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on August 31.

"Above all there is a very important thing," he said. "We are going to play on the 31st in the Super Cup and on the Monday before they have put us down to play at 10pm.

"The next day we travel to Monaco and have only two days to recover. Meanwhile, Chelsea play the Saturday before and have a full week.

"We will do everything possible to not play Athletic at 10pm on the Monday. It isn't just Atletico Madrid. More than half of the league has had enough of these schedules."