MADRID - Spain's football league
(LFP) plans to implement rules designed to control spending
by clubs, its president was quoted as saying on Tuesday, as a
study warned Spanish football was slipping into an "economic
The proposed rules are in line with UEFA regulations that
begin to come into force next season and aim to stop clubs
racking up unsustainable debts, LFP president Jose Luis
Astiazaran said in an interview with As sports daily.
"Spanish football needs to make progress towards an
exemplary state of solvency," Astiazaran said.
"Among the clubs that form the LFP we currently have some
dysfunctions which we have to get under control and we will make
some decisions that will not be pleasant," he added.
"It's time to marry the sporting excellence we have achieved
with financial excellence.
"Spanish football, and La Liga to be exact, has gained global
admiration and we have to earn this distinction for economic
management as well."
The LFP plans to establish a control committee made up of
independent professionals who would assess clubs' accounts and
recommend possible sanctions for transgressors.
These could include docking of points or the withdrawal of
licences for the worst offenders, an LFP spokesman said.
The rules are due to be voted on at a general assembly on
July 12 and would be introduced over a period of three years.
The interview with Astiazaran was published on the same day
that a study highlighted the woeful financial state of many of
the clubs in Spains's top two divisions.
Many have overspent on players and wages in an attempt to
compete with richer clubs and try to preserve their place in the
Some, like top-flight sides Real Mallorca and Real Zaragoza,
are in administration, along with all three teams that were
promoted from the second division at the end of last season;
Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano and Granada.
Jose Maria Gay a professor of accounting at the University
of Barcelona and the report's author, said the situation had
been deteriorating for years while the sporting authorities sat
on their hands.
"We are European and world champions, we have the great
Barcelona and the famous Real Madrid but Spanish football is
caught up in an economic storm and foundering under a highly
virulent financial tempest," he said.
Gay's latest study, based on annual accounts up to the end
of June 2010, showed the 20 clubs in the top flight made a
combined net loss of 100 million euros, up from
19 million in the year-earlier period.
At 3.43 billion euros, total debt fell slightly from the
previous year but was still more than double revenue of 1.61
Gay said that many clubs had got into difficulty because the
economic downturn meant they could no longer rely on the sales
of players or real estate that had kept them afloat in the past.
The distribution of income from television rights, which
sees Real Madrid and Barcelona taking half the pot of around 600
million euros, was another factor making the economic model of
Spanish football unsustainable, he added.
"Spanish football is walking a tightrope," he said. "The bad
thing is that nothing has been done to resolve a serious
situation that is becoming more and more acute each season."
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