ERIC WEIL in BUENOS AIRES: Juan Sebastián Verón, former player and now president of Estudiantes de La Plata, believes Argentina’s government is wrong to spend so much money to permit fans to watch all top division matches free on television.
He feels that such monies should be spent on the present deplorable state of some hospitals and other social services.
His club has debts (£20m) like other clubs but should try to increase income by other means. In any case, the TV rights paid by the government, of which other clubs want more and more, have not encouraged clubs to reduce their debts as the money is channelled off elsewhere.
At Estudiantes Verón blames previous president Enrique Lombardi for bad management, as is customary when a new man takes over and finds they must sell players to pay off £8m by June. Joaquín Correa, one of their most promising youngsters, has already gone.
Verón said from the start that he wants to change his club and Argentinian football as a whole with his experience from Europe (where he played for years in England and Italy). He found the banning of away fans particularly ridiculous.
He will find this task too difficult to carry out on his own — reminding one of Javier Cantero’s lone fight as president against Independiente’s hooligan gang – but one still hopes that more club presidents like Verón, with common sense, will soon emerge.
In the end, of course, Estudiantes fans will judge Verón only on the success of their team on the pitch.