Reign in Spain
Over in continental Europe, Spain’s Government has taken a significant step to outlaw a previous, controversial law which allowed clubs that were strapped for cash to avoid relegation by going into administration. I’m sure Barry Hearn wouldn’t have liked this law much!
Racing Santander was the last club to seek protection from creditors under the former law, in the summer. Others that have taken this unfair advantage have included big brands such as two of the ‘Reals’: Mallorca and Zaragoza (a member of my family is on the management team there). I can’t help but smile here, thinking of the Turks use of ‘Real’ in an attempt to avoid passing-off and copyright (aka ‘Real’ Koç). Players and the indigenous Trade Union have applauded this move, said to be a key reason for the stand-off and strike pre-season at La Liga. The dispute between Spanish footballers and the Professional League has just been rectified with players finally agreeing to call off strike action. The players apparently account for a liability of some 50 Million Euros from clubs using the Law to not fulfil financial obligations, amongst other reasons. “This reform will prevent the undesirable use and abuse of certain instruments of the bankruptcy law and ensure stability and equality in sports competitions” – the Government has commented, according to Reuters News Agency.
Twenty-one clubs in Spain were either in administration, recently exited or in the process of applying. So it’s officially an epidemic? A tightening up of laws can only help create that ‘level playing field’!