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SBD Global/June 28, 2013/International Football

Spanish Football League Unveils Three-Year Plan To Reduce Debt By $1.3B

The LFP will cut salaries by 15% hoping to put dent in $5B debt.
Salaries for Spanish Football League (LFP) clubs will decrease by €100M ($130M), almost 15%, next year, according to the EFE. The expected decrease is part of the Spanish Superior Sports Council's (CSD) economic stability plan for football (EFE, 6/27). In Madrid, Carlos F. Marcote reported the total debt of LFP clubs in June '12 had reached more than €4B ($5.2B) after growing more than 400% since '00, when the combined debt was €1B ($1.3B). The CSD estimates that by the end of '15, it will have experienced a €1B reduction in debt if new regulations in the economic stability plan are strictly enforced. CSD President Miguel Cardenal said, "If clubs want to buy, they have to demonstrate that they can pay. If not, they will not be allowed to sign players. In Spanish football, there has been endemic incessantly growing debt being accompanied by increased spending" (EL PERIODICO, 6/27).

SPANISH MIGRATING TO U.K.: BLOOMBERG's Alex Duff noted a report by Switzerland-based CIES Football Observatory said that the number of Spaniards playing abroad in Europe’s top five leagues rose 30% to 148 last year, according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. They are "fleeing the nation’s six-year economic slump in search of a regular paycheck." Spanish player Inigo Calderon said, "We have to emigrate because the clubs in Spain are a bit of a joke. When I tell my teammates Spanish teams don’t pay wages on time, they don’t believe me. It’s unthinkable in English soccer." Although the national team is world and European champion, some Spanish clubs "are struggling to stay in business." At the same time as coping with sluggish sponsorship and ticket sales, clubs "face stricter rules on debt that are forcing some to trade players to the U.K. to make up revenue shortfalls." Sports lawyer Maheta Molango said that in England’s second tier, footballers can earn as much as £20,000 ($26,000) a month -- about five times what they would get at the same level in Spain. That is if they get paid at all in Spain: in the third tier, some 240 players "filed complaints that they are owed wages from last season," according to the Madrid-based players’ union (BLOOMBERG, 6/26).
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