23 Jul 2008

Debt-ridden Spanish clubs fail to pay players

12:33 pm on 23 July 2008

Debt-ridden clubs in the top two Spanish football leagues owe their players almost $79 million, according to the country's association of footballers, the AFE.

AFE president Gerardo Gonzalez Movilla says that the economic crisis was hitting Spanish sides hard and the number of complaints by players against clubs had reached record levels.

He added that the decision of several clubs to go into administration meant that many players would not be paid the money they were owed.

Last season players from Primera Liga side Levante threatened strike action over unpaid salaries and many other clubs in the top two divisions are experiencing serious financial difficulties.

One of the factors that has aggravated the problems has been the collapse of the Spanish property market. Construction magnates have traditionally been the biggest investors in Spanish clubs.