The fixture had been due to be played on Saturday, and with neither club in favour of reversing the fixture to the Bernabeu in Madrid it was necessary to find a new date, a process which hasn’t exactly been free of controversy.
With the decision ultimately left to the Spanish football federation’s competition committee, it appears is has now been decided that the game will be played on Wednesday 18 December. But La Liga president Javier Tebas has been tipped to challenge it and threaten legal action.
It was reported last week that the competition committee favoured 18 December for the new date, but Tebas wanted the rearranged fixture to fall earlier in the month – both Wednesday 4 December and Saturday 7 December were rumoured dates favoured by La Liga.
There were suggestions that playing the game on a weekend, rather than midweek, would be preferable for the league as it would make the fixture it more accessible to the global audience that La Liga is increasingly seeking to tap into.
However, playing it on 7 December would have meant that Barcelona and Real’s existing fixtures on that weekend would have had to be moved.
The later date on 18 December appears to have caused a problem with Tebas and La Liga as the second round of the Copa del Rey is scheduled for that day.
Barcelona and Real do not enter the competition until a later stage as a result of playing in the Champions League group stage, but La Liga’s other clubs are involved and there are fears that a Clásico fixture on the same night would result in diminished interest in the Copa del Rey and therefore the threat of a potential loss of earnings from TV rights sales.
It also brings into question who has the power to set dates and schedules.