Madrid - Spain's football league launched a lawsuit Friday to block a strike threatened by Spanish footballers that it warned could cost 50 million euros ($56 million) per match day in lost revenues.
Players from top teams, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, have joined in a threat to boycott the last games of the season if the government does not renegotiate a reform of football broadcasting rights.
The president of the professional football league Javier Tebas lodged a case at the National Court in Madrid against the stoppage threatened by the AFE players' union and RFEF football federation.
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"We are filing a lawsuit because the strike is illegal," Tebas said in an interview with AFP and other media shortly before heading to the court.
"It is not a matter of labour relations. They are trying to strike against a law and in Spain that kind of strike is not allowed."
A new law approved by the government redistributes revenues from auctioning the rights to broadcast lucrative Liga football games.
The federation and players' union say they want a bigger share of the revenue to go to smaller lower-league clubs.
They threatened an open-ended strike from May 16, which would suspend key end-of-season games.
Tebas warned sponsors were "very alarmed" at the prospect of a strike.
"It is difficult to quantify overnight, but when a football match day is suspended, we calculate that we could easily be talking about 50 million euros of losses per day" in revenue from sponsorship, betting and other sources, he said.