Madrid: Six Spanish first division clubs have taken legal action to prevent a strike by the country's professional football league (LFP) next month.
"Espanyol Barcelona, Villarreal, Zaragoza, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad and Sevilla launched (on Wednesday) an action in the courts of Madrid to condemn the agreement passed by the general assembly of the LFP on February 11," the clubs said in a joint statement.
The LFP announced on February 11 its decision to strike on the weekend of April 2-3 to protest a long-standing rule that one first division match per weekend is broadcast for free on television.
Negotiations followed with political leaders to find a solution, but the LFP reiterated its decision late on Tuesday.
The decision means the Spanish league season could be extended to the weekend of June 11-12 instead of May 21-22.
The six clubs believe that the strike is "a disproportionate, untimely measure that is contrary to the interests of the clubs, the competition and the fans and is, in addition, contrary to the law."
A 1997 law allows one first division match per weekend to be broadcast for free on television, rather than on pay-per-view or cable.
Spanish media said the six "rebel" clubs also reject the current distribution of revenues for television rights.
According to the sports daily AS, Real Madrid and Barcelona, the country's top two clubs, receive 125 million euros per season, several times more than any others.