Financial woes spread to Peru's Sporting Cristal
LIMA, Peru, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The new owners of Sporting Cristal's sponsor have slashed the 2004 budget at one of Peru's most financially solvent teams, sparking the departure of the club's president.
The move comes at a time when at a time when Peru's top flight players say clubs owe them $800,000 in unpaid wages.
Sporting Cristal's president Jaime Noriega said on Wednesday he had resigned from the Lima-based club, ending a 49-year-long family involvement in the team that won last year's league title and qualified for next year's South American Libertadores Cup.
Latin America's fourth largest brewer, Colombia's Bavaria, which owns Sporting Cristal's majority shareholder and sponsor, announced the cuts in a meeting on Tuesday, Noriega told Reuters on Wednesday.
Noreiga said the reasons for the cuts were unclear, although a recent Peruvian players' strike over contested wages may have aggravated the decision.
"We expected a budget cut but nothing like this. I don't agree with the way its been handled, it could affect the future of the club," Noriega said, adding that he'll stay on until his successor is found.
Peruvian football is reeling from the cancellation of the national championship late last month, sparked by striking players who failed to reach an agreement with their clubs to end a three-week-long dispute.
The strike is technically still on.
The players' union called the strike because they said eight of Peru's 12 first division clubs owed them $800,000 in unpaid wages and bonuses from the previous two seasons