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Spanish financial crisis affecting football

Spain’s economic crisis is having a knock-on effect on the financial situation of football in the country.

Despite being current world and European champions, Spain’s friendly against Belarus in October was not televised for financial reasons.

Budget cuts are occurring everywhere in football and Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso is aware that even as footballers, they are not immune to what is going on around them.

“A lot of clubs are being forced to tighten up with regards to spending and are having to be more clever about how to their invest money,” Alonso said.

“The other day was a clear example of this with the Spanish game not being televised. This was a result of budget cuts for which football is also affected.”

Unaffordable ticket prices and poor scheduling have seen La Liga crowds drop away significantly in recent years.

According to sub-editor of Spanish newspaper Marca, Francisco Justicia, changes need to be made.

“On the one hand it (Spanish football) has been greatly affected by the economic crisis, but there are also other problems in the form of terrible scheduling and excessive prices,” Justicia said.

“In terms of the prices, the average ticket in Spain costs between 25 and 30 pounds more than the average ticket for an (English) Premier League match. Then you have the terrible scheduling. Games aren’t grouped together here like they are in the Premier League.

“Here we have games on Saturday at 4pm, 6pm, 8pm and 10pm. Then on Sunday the rest of the games are played starting at 12pm, followed by another at 4pm, another at 6pm, another at 8pm and another at 10pm. It doesn’t stand to reason.”

Many clubs have been forced to sell their best players and adopt a youth policy due to the financial issues engulfing the country’s football.

But head coach of Spain’s national team, Vicente Del Bosque, is proud of the way the country’s young players have stepped up.

“As Spanish citizens we are aware and concerned about what is going on in our country,” Del Bosque said.

“However, like I have said before in terms of sport, we are very proud that things are working out the way they are.

“Our young players are representing the country very well with their behaviour. That’s all I have to say on the subject. Not only is their behaviour exemplary on the pitch, where they have been winning, but away from it they also transmit a clean and healthy image.”

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Mon 31 December, 2012
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