Massive debts for Deportivo highlight problems in Spanish football

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The perilous state of the finances of some of Spain's professional football clubs was laid bare Wednesday with the revelation that Spanish BBVA Primera Liga side Deportivo la Coruna has debts totaling 156,34 million euros (201 million US dollars), of which 93.7 (120.7 million US dollars) are owed to the Spanish Treasury.

The figure was published by the company AD Cryex, which is currently managing Deportivo's financial affairs after the club recently went into voluntary administration on January 10.

Deportivo, who are bottom of the Primera Liga with just 20 points from 28 games, had announced debts of around 93 million euros (120 million US dollars) on the day it went into administration, but the club appears to have greatly underestimated its tax debt, originally publishing debts of less than half of which the new report says it now owes. Meanwhile Deportivo also overestimated its assets, saying they were worth 185 million euros (240 million dollars) while AD Cryex considers them to be less than half that amount.

"The real causes of the insolvency are the fact that they maintained a form of management which was far removed from reality, increasing expenses and investments in multiple aspects and in quantities which are absolutely removed from the economic possibilities of the society," said the report.

As well as the Treasury, Deportivo also owes considerable quantities to the banks, Novagalicia and Banco Gallego, as well as the Spanish Football League (LFP), Spanish FA, (RFEF) and several clubs, including Betis and Mallorca in Spain, as well as Uruguayan sids Nacional and Defensor; Argentinean team, Estudiantes de la Plata and Mexican side, Atlas de Guadalajara.

As well as other clubs, Deportivo also owes considerable sums to key players in its current squad, with goalkeeper, Dani Aranzubia owed over half a million euros and this season's top scorer, Ivan Sanchez 'Riki' owed over 400,000 euros.

Meanwhile some former players and coaches are owed even more money by the club, while Deportivo has to pay around 2 million dollars to the travel agent (Viajes el Corte Ingles) which organizes its away trips.

However, Deportivo's debts are just the tip of the iceberg in Spain with the Treasury confirming on Tuesday that it is owed a total of 690.4 million euros (891 million US dollars) by professional football clubs, with 535.8 million of that total owed by clubs in the BBVA Primera Liga.

This debt has shrunk from the 752 million euros (971 million US dollars) which were owed to the Treasury around a year ago, but is at a level most consider unacceptable in a country in the middle of an economic crisis.

Meanwhile the Treasury assures it is pursuing the debts with "all of the means that are in its hand in the same way it would pursue any other contributor." Endi

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