Barca, Madrid prosper but Spanish league falters

By PAUL LOGOTHETIS | July 11, 2011 | 1:29 PM EDT

FILE - In this July 11, 2010 file photo, Spain's Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring a goal, with the words "Dani Jarque, always with us", written on his undershirt, during the World Cup final soccer match between the Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa. The vest that Iniesta wore in tribute to deceased player Dani Jarque that he revealed after scoring Spain's winning goal in the World Cup final has gone on display at Espanyol's stadium. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

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.