ERIC WEIL in BUENOS AIRES: World federation FIFA has ordered the Argentinian federation to penalise six points from Santa Fe’s Colón and Independiente unless they pay claims within 90 days made by clubs from which they bought players.
Independiente signed Leonel Nuñez from Greece’s Olympiacos for $1,65m in 2008 with payment to be made in instalments but Julio Comparada, then president, left debts all over the place and only 40pc of the fee was paid.
Olympiacos showed interest in Leonel Galeano in 2011 and Patricio Rodríguez a year later and offered to include part of the debt as payment but Comparada was not interested and sold the players elsewhere as he wanted to whole transfer fee instead of settling the debt. The debt, with interest, is now $1.8m.
Colón, who are also in financial trouble apart from poor results on the pitch, received a claim for $600.000 from Mexico’s Atlante for Juan Falcón bought in 2007.
Simultaneously Colón’s debt is increasing – apart from unpaid salaries to players and employees and bouncing cheques. The AFA (read its present Julio Grondona) has offered to lend the club $600,000 to avoid their losing points within 90 days.
Somehow, when pressed, the money always appears.
When Quilmes players recently refused to ‘concentrate’ before a match because of unpaid salaries, they were finally paid part of the debt.
Also, Claudio López claimed £400,000 from Racing Club, but never received an answer until he went to court which froze two of the club’s bank accounts. Only then did a committee member acknowledged that the claim was justified and that the club would come to an arrangement with the player to pay it in instalments.
This AFA has never been strict about stopping clubs getting into debt, nor have the tax authorities really pressed and sanctioned clubs for not paying taxes owed.
Only this year have they started looking into taxes being avoided in transfers and newly acquired players could not play until investigated. Those investigations were not very successful, although in some cases the taxes had to be paid up.