MADRID (AP) — One year after Spain celebrated its World Cup triumph, its national soccer league is beset by debt, mismanagement and bankruptcies.
Twenty-two Spanish league clubs have gone into bankruptcy protection since lower-league team Las Palmas started the trend in 2004. On Friday, Racing Santander became the sixth insolvent club in this season's 20-team top division, which opens Aug. 21.
The Associated Press spoke with several club directors, financial experts and soccer figures. They agreed on a number of factors that have led to this trouble: large transfer fees, inflated players salaries, ego-driven owners with little fiscal responsibility and a clear divide in the distribution of television money.