The ‘game’ of financial roulette as reported before in this blog needed urgent action in Spain. The Spanish Football League has now announced new rules designed to prevent clubs from overspending.
These regulations include powers to limit the total cost of any clubs’ playing squad – also players registration can be prevented if perceived to be above an acceptable budget – though I don’t yet understand how this is calculated. The Turkish connection portrayed, namely: Deportivo La Coruna is the latest Club to seek assistance to avoiding going bump and has filed for bankruptcy protection.
This move appears another step in the right direction after the earlier agreed protocol to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) regulations in the Country. Notably. from 2014 clubs must set up a ‘fund’ totalling 35% of their revenue from media rights to act as a guarantee against any tax liabilities. I’m sure our HMRC would favour such. Furthermore, there is now an obligation for clubs to provide detailed budgets for the following season(s) including information on sales and expenditure, profit and loss and investments or any sales of assets.
Will I need to write about Reign in Spain 3?
It was an innocuous conversation with a waiter at Istanbul Grill Cheadle that led to me wanting to discover the origins of a story. He gave in trying to guess which team I follow in Turkey – that is my second team, Kocaelispor. He then started to show me pictures of his beloved Deportivo de La Coruña.
So what was the fascination of a Turk with a Spanish team (especially one competing with one of my clients!).
In Spain they are known as ‘Los Turcos’ – which translates as “The Turks”.
And……. apparently in Ottoman times, a sea-captain, Barboros Hayrettin Pasa, sailed to Spain and generated curiosity and interest in Turkish life. To this very day the locals still appreciate that affinity with Turkey and are seen to express this love both visually and vocally.
The nickname “Turcos” was originally used as an insult for Deportivo de La Coruña by rival Celta Vigo fans.
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’!