Player strike threatens Swedish pro football

Player strike threatens Swedish pro football
Tyresö's Brazilian star Marta chats to a teammate
Swedish top flight football is facing the prospect of player strike action and a slew of postponed matches as a dispute over pay and conditions remained unresolved.

Mediators have been appointed in a bid to avert a conflict which could lead to widespread disruption to the leagues in just under a week.

“A strike would be a mess for everyone,” said the players’ union secretary-general Magnus Erling Mark to the TT news agency.

The players’ union (Spelarföreningen Fotboll i Sverige – SFS) and the employers’ group Svensk Elitfotboll (Sef) have been unable to reach agreement over a new collective bargaining deal. Pension arrangements are reported to be a key sticking point.

If a deal is not secured by May 7th, players will have the right to go out on strike and this could mean a slew of postponed matches in the Swedish top flight, whose season has just begun.

The matches in immediate danger of postponement are Monday’s clashes between Elfsborg–Gothenburg, Gais–Mjällby and Örebro–Kalmar, and Tuesday’s Stockholm derby pitting Solna’s AIK against Djurgården.

In the women’s top flight, Umeå-Tyresö and Gothenburg-Jitex on Monday and Tuesday respectively are in threat as a result of the possible strike action.

Mediation duo Christina Nygårdh and Anders Tiderman were appointed on Monday to assist in the resolution of the conflict, according to the TT report.

SFS are responsible for collective bargaining on behalf of players active in the men’s Allsvenskan, Superettan and Division 1, and the women’s Allsvenskan. The current agreement expired on Monday April 30th.

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