While Real Madrid continue to mint money and buy players, the ‘other’ Primera Division is facing circumstances that are exactly the opposite, in terms of finance. Many Argentine clubs are facing hardships and in the process, payment to the players has been delayed. This may lead to a strike and eventually, the Apertura championships due to start next month, might get delayed. >
The president of the Argentine FA, Julio Grondona, told the media, “There is no doubt that the beginning of the tournament is at risk because several clubs have very big debts,” Grondona told the cable TV channel TyC Sports.
“This can be sorted out in one day, two days or several weeks… We have asked for meetings in the coming days but we must put things in order, there’s a limit to everything.”
Scheduled for the 14th of August, the Apertura championships might not take off and the according to Grondona, it isn’t the minnows who have the problem. Club Atletico San Lorenzo, Racing Club de Avellaneda and giants Atletico Independiente and River Plate are said to be the cause of the problem after failing to honour the extremely large contracts that they signed with their players.
Transfers to Europe have been a major part of these clubs’ income as they act almost like feeder leagues to the giants of Europe. But with a drop in the number of transfers that went through, the teams are in dire financial straits and are unlikely to be able to handle the pay scales promised earlier. >
“They are paying very high salaries (and) one of the main (revenue) resources was the sale of players and now it’s very difficult to transfer them,” he said.
Another major problem in Argentina, according to Grondona, has been that players have not been owned by the clubs. Agents have held the rights to these players mainly to take a major cut of their transfer fees, when they are bought by European clubs.
“Before, the players were part of the assets of the clubs. The invention of… agents was a misfortune.
“It can’t be that a person owns 30 percent of a player and another 40 (percent). It seems like we’re talking about cows.”