Spanish soccer strike over as deal reached

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MADRID (AP) -- The Spanish soccer season will start Saturday after players and league officials reached a deal to end a strike that had postponed the opening round of games in the top two divisions.

The deal was reached Thursday after the players union and league returned to meet again after talks that had started Wednesday afternoon dragged late into the night, ending at 5:30 a.m.

The union says the industrial action was called off after the league guaranteed $72 million owed to more than 200 players in unpaid back wages and reached an agreement to allow players to be released from their contracts if wages were not paid.

It was the fourth strike in the history of the Spanish league and first since 1984.