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Whats happening amigos?

Saw this article which I thought I'd share with you guys:

ARGENTINA'S football clubs, up to their necks in debt as their bankrupt country sinks deeper into economic turmoil, are having to sell their best and youngest players to European clubs for quick cash to save them from closing down.

Two of the country's star players, River Plate's Andres d'Alessandro and Boca Juniors' Roman Riquelme, Argentina's player of the year in 2001, are being eyed by Juventus and Barcelona. A delegation from Juventus was reportedly in Buenos Aires this week, offering over $20 million (£14 million) to transfer 20-year-old d'Alessandro to Italy in June.

"We don't want to sell all our stars. We'd like them to mature here and give Argentines some pleasure before they emigrate. But if we cannot correct our deficit, we are going to have to sell d'Alessandro sooner than we wanted," said Julius Macchi, former chairman of the Buenos Aires stock exchange and now vice-president of River Plate, who are losing $40 million a year.

Nearly all of Argentina's 20 premier league clubs, and many in lower divisions, are struggling with multi-million pound debts run up over years of bad management and overspending. Like Argentina, which went bankrupt at the end of December amid social and political turmoil, they are facing their moment of truth now the money has finally run out.

The country's economic crisis and cash shortages mean that many Argentines - among the world's most fanatical football followers - have stopped going to matches for lack of cash and clubs are losing vital revenue from ticket sales.

To eke extra pesos out of fans, some clubs are offering players' shirts in post-match lotteries. Recent devaluation of the peso means the clubs' already crippling dollar-based debts have suddenly become 30 per cent more expensive to service in the local currency, while sponsors have withdrawn or renewed contracts for less than half the value of the previous year.

Champions San Lorenzo have a $46 million debt and players are clamouring to be paid - the $5 million made recently from the sale of forward Bernardo Romeo to Hamburg went straight to the club's creditors.

Reports claimed that even the telephone lines were disconnected at the San Lorenzo club's offices and they ran short of training balls recently.

"San Lorenzo is very sick. If we all take care of it, it can be saved. But if this patient dies, nobody is going to get a single peso," the club's new president, Alberto Guil, warned this week.

Players, some of whom have been paid up to $1 million in the past as clubs tried to keep them in the country, are now facing drastic pay cuts and offers from outside, although lower than in previous years, are increasingly tempting.

"These are young men in their early 20s. The country is in financial turmoil, they are receiving offers that will settle their financial problems for life," Macchi said.

River Plate, one of Buenos Aires' most famous clubs, hope to rescue themselves with a new "transparent and realistic" business plan. They are also considering slashing players' pay and enticing fans back to matches with cheaper entrance fees and season tickets.

"There is no way River are going to die. But the other clubs have to clean up their finances. If they don't, they are destined to disappear," Macchi said.
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I actually think its a real shame about the financial state of a lot of the clubs in Argentina and that many have to sell their stars especially at such a young age before many have fully developed. I suppose the conveyor belt of talent helps but it must be pretty frustrating for clubs and esp the fans to see the best players being sold. There doesnt seem to be any hope in the near future either.

Is this down to corruption, economy, mis-management or a combination?
 

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Nasty Woman
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El despacho presidencial, ocupado ahora por Eduardo Duhalde, fue el lugar donde el presidente de la AFA, Julio Grondona, y un grupo de dirigentes plantearon los problemas que ahogan las finanzas de los clubes y hacen peligrar su subsistencia

Los pedidos al jefe de Estado, que estuvo acompañado por el secretario de Deporte y Turismo, Daniel Scioli, y por el secretario general de la Presidencia, Aníbal Fernández, fueron dos: bajar el costo de la seguridad en los partidos de fútbol (7 millones de pesos por año)y quitar el impuesto al valor agregado (IVA) a las entradas de los partidos de fútbol (5 millones por año).

Yesterday, Julio Grondona and several other club managers met with President Eduardo Duhalde to discuss the financial problems facing the clubs.

They asked for two things: 1. to reduce the costs of match security and 2. to eliminate the tax on purchase of match tickets.
 
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