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SBD Global/February 1, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

LFP, Government Sports Council Set Rules To Clear Up Football's Debt Crisis

Secretary of State for Sport Miguel Cardenal called the new rules to curb spending "a profound cultural shift in Spanish football."
The Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) has published details of rules to take effect from July 1 that aim to "rein in the overspending on players that has helped push many clubs into administration in recent years," according to REUTERS. The rules, drawn up by a joint commission created by the LFP and the government's sports council (CSD), "include powers to set a limit on the total cost of a club's squad and to refuse to register players if they are deemed too expensive." Secretary of State for Sport Miguel Cardenal said, "This is a profound cultural shift in Spanish football. The rules are a tool capable of serving as an instrument to get us back to reality in the face of some of the most significant problems confronting Spanish soccer" (REUTERS, 1/31). SOCCEREX noted the announcement is the latest move from Spanish authorities to "clear up the debt crisis in the domestic game." In July '11, the LFP agreed to regulations that it said were in-line with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. In April, the Spanish government and the LFP unveiled regulations that aimed to "assist clubs in erasing combined tax debts" of €750M ($1B) (SOCCEREX, 1/31).

HISTORIC DAY: EL CONFIDENCIAL's José Félix Díaz opined Spanish football "lived a historic day." The LFP and CSD agreed to a deal where any professional club "that does not have its finances in order will not be able to make any signings starting next season." The intention is to have a short term solution "to diminish the economic problems in domestic football." Under the new rules, every team will have its finances looked over before the start of the season, and any club that does not meet a series of requirements "will be prohibited from making new signings." With these new rules, "next season's La Liga will be radically different" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 1/30). In Madrid, Amaya Iríbar wrote the new rules "are only a step" in the process of trying to reverse the economic situation of Spanish clubs. The risk is that "the gap between the rich and the poor widens." LFP President José Luis Astiazarán was asked how many clubs run the risk of not being able to sign new players for next season. Astiazarán said, "I cannot make an estimation at this point" (EL PAIS, 1/30).
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