Michel Platini highlights Spanish football as financially worst run

UEFA President Michel Platini has highlighted La Liga’s financial problems as the worst of the top European Leagues and said that if nothing happens, it could have serious repercussions across the economic set-up of clubs on the continent.

Platini was speaking this week to Le Parisien, with the initiator behind the incoming Financial Fair Play (FFP) system being particularly critical of Spanish football’s financial state.

“Of the five major championships [England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France], the clubs have a combined debt of €1,200m. The worst case is Spain. Some teams ceased to pay players, and the players went on strike. It is serious.”

Platini added to this in an interview with Aujourd’hui en France where speaking from Monaco at the Champions League and Europa League group stage draws that were held this week, the Frenchman spoke of the aims of FFP: “We do not want to disqualify clubs [from European competition], as much as help them.

UEFA supports the idea that from now on, teams cannot spend more money than they have. They need to strike a balance between revenue and expenditure. The clubs are subject to having their accounts monitored, and in 2013 we will make the first assessment.”

The first phase of FFP comes into effect this season, with clubs not allowed to register a deficit (negative difference between revenue and expenditure) of more than €45m. Clubs that do will be subject to penalties, but at this stage it remains unlikely that the discussed possibility of exclusion from European competition will be enforced.

“I do not mind clubs taking on debt that are able to repay it. When you buy a house you are forced into debt, right?” finished former Juventus and France footballer.

Facts and figures on Spanish debt
-1990 saw Spanish clubs permitted to fall under private ownership, in a bid to eradicate debt and to better monitor club accounts. Only Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna opted against private ownership.

– Six Primera Division clubs are in administration going into the 2011-12 campaign: Mallorca, Racing Santander, Zaragoza, Granada, Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis. To put this into context, Zaragoza’s entrance into administration was as the Spanish League’s 20th team to do so in its 83-year history.

– That includes all three teams promoted from the Segunda Division, whilst relegated Hercules also entered insolvency proceedings as a result of going down.

– In total, it is believed the 42 clubs in the Primera and Segunda Divisions owe as much as €4bn, with €3.5bn just between the Primera Division clubs, whilst 22 clubs from the top two divisions have been or are currently in administration.

– 2009-10’s figures show the country’s top 20 teams made a combined loss of €100m, up €19m from the previous season, and that whilst debt was at the above amount, total revenue to counter that was €1.6bn. Revenue in fact even increased to this figure by 8%, higher than any other European League that season.

– January 2011 saw Ahsan Al

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