Portugal's Benfica, FC Porto, Sporting Continue To Struggle With Mounting Debts
The top clubs in Portuguese football "continue struggling with preoccupying levels of debt," according to Hugo Daniel Sousa of PUBLICO. Spurred by the financial crisis, difficulties getting bank loans and the implementation of UEFA Financial Fair Play rules, data from the past season shows that Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto owe banks €411.9M ($538.5M), up €59.8M ($78.4M) from the '10-11 season. Benfica's debt climbed from €157M in '10-11 to €200M ($261.5M) this season. Sporting's debt increased from €95M ($124.2M) to €116.4M ($151.7M). FC Porto was the only team that actually reduced its debt. The team owes the bank €95.9M ($125.4M), down from €98M after the '10-11 season (PUBLICO, 12/12).