Racing Santander Fans Follow Players' Protest Of Unpaid Wages, Assault Club President
Spanish third division side Racing Santander fans entered the box of club President Angel Lavin to "throw drinks at the club's owner" during a Copa del Rey match Wednesday against Almeria at Racing's El Sardinero stadium, according to FOOTBALL ESPANA. Racing's "private security had to be called in to calm the situation down, but not before Lavin was assaulted by fans" who decided to "protest against the club's precarious financial situation." Racing is the only team from the Spanish third division still playing in the Copa del Rey. Earlier, Racing players "refused to start playing when the game began as a protest against the debt the club owes to its players, who have not been paid since September." The Spanish Footballers Association said in a statement, "The Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) wishes to announce that the protest carried out by the Racing Santander players at the start of their Copa del Rey last 16 first leg game with Almeria took place owing to the following circumstances: As of today, the footballers are still owed their salaries for the months of October, November and December. The club's board have now gone back on their promise to pay the players a part of the money owed three times. Ángel Lavín, the club’s president, both in public and private, promised the squad they would receive the money owed to them by 31 December, at the latest, but that promise has not been fulfilled" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 1/9). In Madrid, Javier Rubio reported club sources indicated that Racing is preparing to "take legal action against those who entered Lavin's box." The club "believes the attack was planned out using social media networks" (EL MUNDO, 1/9).