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SBD Global/July 10, 2013/Franchises

Atlético Madrid Handball Club Announces It Will Disappear Due To Financial Struggles

Spanish handball club Atlético Madrid "has disappeared," according to Javier Lafuente of EL PAIS. The team's economic debt -- €915,000 ($1.2M) to Spanish tax authorities -- and payments owed to players and providers has "caused the club to dissolve." The loss of Atlético Madrid "is a mortal blow to Spanish handball and the best representation of the harshness of the sport's crisis." The club's statement said, "The Atlético Madrid Handball Club communicates to all its fans and followers that before the current difficulties that our economy is experiencing, sports among them, this organization has made the decision to not continue its athletic activity." Atlético Madrid Handball President Domingo Díaz de Mera thanked Dir General Miguel Ángel Gil and Atlético Madrid President Enrique Cerezo "for opening the doors of Atlético Madrid" (EL PAIS, 7/9). In Madrid, Juan Gutiérrez reported after the disappearance of Atlético Madrid, Spain's Superior Sports Council (CSD) announced a meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 5pm local time. Representatives of the Spanish Handball Federation (RFBEM), Liga Asobal (top Spanish handball league) and the Handball Players Association (AJBM) have been invited. The "objective of the meeting is to consider the viability of handball as a national competition." A CSD spokesperson said, "The disappearance of Atlético Madrid has caused a lot of surprise in the CSD because the organization had not received any official information from the club. The Council has learned of the news from the media" (AS, 7/9).
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