The start of the Argentinian soccer season has been delayed indefinitely because clubs in the top two divisions are unable to pay the wages of their players, and are saddled by huge debts, the BBC reports.
The article suggests that Argentinian clubs rely heavily on selling their best players to wealthy European clubs, but the recession appears to have reduced the transfer volume, placing Argentinian clubs in a difficult situation.
It seems like quite a poor business model to be reliant on one-off huge pay outs from outside in the form of transfer payments – but on the other hand, most soccer clubs are run badly not least because the probability of bail out is particularly high.
The strange thing though is that in Europe, the recession hardly seems to have reduced transfer activity: Real Madrid of Spain have just parted with another £30m for Xavi Alonso of Liverpool, to take their spending to over £200m for the summer, while Manchester City of England have similarly spent in excess of £100m all told, including around £25m on a certain Argentinian going by the name of Carlos Tevez. Sadly for Argentina, Tevez transferred just a couple of miles across town from neighbours Manchester United, and none of that money will make its way back to Argentina.
Perhaps though, apart from the mega rich clubs still splashing their money, the rest of the European footballing elite have tightened their purse strings, and scouting flights down to South America were one of the cut backs…