Spanish soccer clubs’ tax debt to fall below £158 million euros – league president

Madrid (AFP) – Spain’s professional football clubs will bring their total debt with the country’s tax authorities to below 200 million euros ($290 million) by the end of the season, league president Javier Tebas said Wednesday.

Spain’s first and second division football clubs owed 317 million euros in September at the start of the season, down from a high of 650 million euros in 2013.

“At the end of this season it will be below 200 million euros. We have managed to turn things around and now we are cutting the debt at a faster rate,” Tebas said in a statement after he presented the league’s 2015 financial report.

With clubs increasingly falling on hard times after overspending, a commission was set up at the start of 2013 by the league and the government’s National Sports Council (CSD) to resolve the crisis, and controls were put in place including the power to prevent the signing of players.

Measures introduced in recent seasons have seen clubs set a budget for transfer fees and wages by the league based on their income which they cannot surpass.

“Our clubs have complied and they have won. Our clubs were convinced that we had to self regulate in order to achieve solvency,” Tebas added.

The rules have not prevented Spanish sides from dominating on the field with Barcelona and Real Madrid winning the last two Champions Leagues while Sevilla have claimed back-to-back Europa League titles.

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