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Aug 17, 2012

Michel angry over TV deal

Sevilla coach Michel has hit out at the way Spanish football is being run, accusing those at the top of "destroying" the game.

This week saw renewed battles between Spain's clubs and competing TV companies, with a 13-strong rebel group backing down from a threat to postpone the first weekend's games and a new plan announced for games to be played across Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings.

Michel said that the fact clubs were going along with this situation was leading to the ruin of La Liga as a viable competition.

"We are all guilty of going along with the situation," he said. "Can anybody who loves football put on a game at 11PM on a Monday? Seems to me that football is being used by outside interests and that is destroying it. Because of this players are going to other leagues, only two teams can win and the rest have to fight and work because if you don't, they point the finger at you."

Michel said that he had not had sufficient time to prepare his team for their opening game of the 2012-13 season, at home to Getafe on Saturday, noting ironically that Spain coach Vicente del Bosque gave his Real Madrid and Barcelona players just 45 minutes in Wednesday's friendly in Puerto Rico while Sevilla's Jesus Navas played the full game and adding that players from the "big two" would have an extra day to recover from their long trip.

"There is a lack of feeling and respect for teams like Sevilla, who have international players, who only have half a day to train, and have to play on Saturday," said the former Madrid midfielder. "I had to change the training because a key player arrived at 1AM, and we are playing Saturday, but the big clubs play on Sunday. We are always playing on Mondays, but we have never played at five on a Sunday, which is when I like it."

While agreement was reached between the competing TV companies who show football in Spain, this week's talks lead to little change to the current revenue sharing arrangement which sees Madrid and Barcelona between them receive about half of the cash on offer.

Michel said this situation was not sustainable in the long run.

"There are conflicts with players who do not get paid," he said. "There are teams using the Ley Concursal (Spain's version of administration) in the first and second divisions. People are allowed to just come and go..."

Sevilla president Jose Maríe del Nido has been one of the noisiest critics of the current situation. Michel said he worried his team could suffer if they were not offered more support from around La Liga.

"There is no appreciation from the officials for the players or the fans, but we have to swallow it, because if we do not, they point the finger at you," he said. "We will see what happens to us if Sevilla keep protesting."

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