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Volume 10 No. 22


ManU's players "face a pay cut" of up to 25% if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, according to Declan Whooley of the IRISH INDEPENDENT. The policy, "backed by" former Manager Alex Ferguson and CEO David Gill, "was introduced three years ago and, while it does not apply to all senior players, new signings and players renewing contracts have had to accept it." A club source said, "United aren't the only Premier League club with this policy. They felt it was fair players should be rewarded for reaching the top four but also share the financial pain if they miss out" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 1/9).

Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o is the wealthiest foreign-born EPL player with a net worth of £39M ($64M), according to a Wealth-X list that also includes players from Spain, Argentina and the Czech Republic. The combined fortunes of the 10 footballers on the list is £245M ($402M), £10M less than the combined net worth of the individuals on Wealth-X's list of the wealthiest English-born EPL players. Three Chelsea players appear on the list, and collectively their combined wealth totals £87M ($142M). Man City has three players on the list, with a combined net worth of £68M ($111M) (Wealth-X).

The Top Five Wealthiest Foreign-Born EPL Players
Country of Origin
Net Worth
Samuel Eto'o
Cameroon Chelsea
Ryan Giggs
Fernando Torres Spain
Yaya Toure
Ivory Coast
Man City
Sergio Aguero
Man City
Source: Wealth-X

Argentine first division side River Plate execs "are embarrassed," according to Daniel Avellaneda of CLARIN. This is not "just because of figures showing that the club's previous leadership increased its debt" from $383M on Aug. 31 to $425M. It is "also due to a summary of the corporate credit card that former River President Daniel Passarella used during a trip to Europe in November to visit the Pope." Passarella spent $810,000 in the last four months, "including his trip across the Atlantic." River Plate VP Jorge Brito and Treasurer Andrés Ballota warned that "money was spent in an irresponsible manner." However, Brito and Ballota "did not expect to have to explain the amount of money spent by Passarella." A "stunned" River Plate exec said, "Why did Passarella go to Europe if he was not selling a player? He went on a trip paid for by the club" (CLARIN, 1/9).

Russian football club Spartak Nalchik "will cease to exist as a professional team amid financial and political problems, an official announced Thursday in another blow to sport in Russia's troubled North Caucasus," according to R-SPORT. So far this season, fellow North Caucasus club Anzhi Makhachkala has seen an exodus of star players "and are now battling relegation from the top flight along with Chechnya's Terek Grozny." Another club from the region, '95 champions Alania Vladikavkaz, "are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy." Sporting success has been a rare source of positive headlines in recent years for the North Caucasus, "large parts of which are plagued by poverty and violent unrest." Top state sports official Aslan Afaunov said, "With the situation that's come up, the club has no possibility of competing under the status of a professional club" (R-SPORT, 1/9).