The Spanish government is
working with the football league on a plan that would allow
football clubs to settle debts of 700 million euros with the tax authorities and 600 million with the
social security system, an official was quoted as saying on
Secretary of State for Sport Miguel Cardenal, who was
appointed after the centre-right People's Party (PP) won a
general election late last year, told Marca sports daily the
idea was to wipe out the debts and make sure they were never
The professional football league (LFP) and the government were
"working very seriously, swiftly and continually" on the plan,
which would be put into action "within a reasonable period of
time", Cardenal told the paper.
"It is unacceptable that any company, including those in
football, have a high level of debt and that's why formulas are
being sought, within what is possible, to correct it," he said.
The government is keen to start calling in the clubs' tax
and social security debts as part of a sweeping austerity drive
aimed at meeting fiscal targets agreed with the European Union.
The majority of Spanish clubs have slipped deeper into the
red in recent years as they struggle to pay spiralling wage and
transfer costs and many have been forced into administration
following a futile struggle to remain competitive.
A study published in June last year by a professor of
accounting at the University of Barcelona showed the 20 clubs in
Spain's top division had combined debts of some 3.48 billion
euros at the end of the 2009/10 season.
With more than 550 million owed by the 22 teams in the
second tier, Spanish professional football is roughly four billion
euros in the red.
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