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The Danish Professional Football Players' Association, Spillerforeningen, is currently embroiled in a tense standoff with the country's Danish League (Divisionsforeningen) as negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) have reached a crucial status quo. With a compromise still some way from being reached, a lockout is looming which threatens to derail plans to start the upcoming season on time. 

On March 28, Divisionsforeningen terminated the CBA that had been in use since 2004, a decision that took the Danish Football Players' Association by surprise, as it was done very abruptly, without notice and just before the deadline.

A new agreement still appears to be far away. Spillerforeningen says it cannot accept the proposed new CBA that has been drafted by the Danish League. According to the players association, this proposal will seriously diminish the rights and the minimum requirements of the players.

FIFPro board member and Spillerforeningen Director Mads Øland (photo): "The biggest problem is that the club association is rushing the process. First, they terminate the CBA without notice and just before the deadline. Second, they have sent us a proposal which will seriously diminish the existing CBA. Third, they are trying to lockout the players with the shortest possible time limit. What we need is time to get to an agreement - not to rush things through."

DenmarkAs a result the negotiations have taken a serious twist. Divisionsforeningen is threatening the players with a lockout as of July 1. This means that the employers (the clubs) do not allow their employees (the players) to meet at work and also implies that the employees do not get paid.

Spillerforeningen is aware of the threat, but reacted calmly by pointing to the fact that it has not been informed in time before the mandatory one-month deadline. The players union received Divisionsforeningen's registered letter on June 2, therefore the lockout can only commence on 1 August, which is eleven days after the projected start of the new Danish football season. The country's top league, Superliga, kicks-off on July 20. Next to that, several teams will be playing qualification matches for the Europa League, with the first Danish team scheduled to play in the first leg of the second qualifying round on July 17.

Though a hard battle lies ahead, Spillerforeningen remains confident. The players association has the full support of the players (who have shown their commitment by attending the negotiations) and is also backed by the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions.