Espanyol look to sell stars amid mounting debts

29 March 2012 06:46

Spanish top-flight side Espanyol have admitted they could be forced into a fire-sale of their best players this summer as they struggle to balance the books in the midst of the economic crisis.

The Barcelona-based club are believed to have total debts in the region of 160 million euros ($212m), with a significant lump of that owed to Spain's tax authorities.

Those figures are far higher than their overall budget for this season, and club spokesman Rafael Entrena says offers for their talented crop of players will be welcome come the end of the current campaign.

"It is possible that decisions will be taken that some will struggle to understand, but we must make an effort to balance the books," he was quoted as saying on the club's website.

"If we have to sell players to balance the books then that is what we will do, although right now we don't know if we will be buying or selling in the summer.

"We do not want to see the club fall into administration," he added, mindful that several clubs in La Liga, such as Racing Santander, Rayo Vallecano and Betis, are either in administration at the moment or have been in the recent past.

The total amount of money owed by Spanish clubs to the taxman has grown in recent years to reach 752 million euros ($998m).

The Spanish Sports Council (CSD) says plans to reduce the debt will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Espanyol - with a squad containing numerous homegrown talents - currently sit seventh in La Liga and remain in contention for European qualification next season, providing their finances allow them to obtain a UEFA licence to compete in continental competition.

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17