Things are tightening up -
Europa League winners Atlético Madrid fall foul of financial fair play rules as Uefa withholds prize-money - Uefa has withheld prize-money payments from 23 European clubs over their failure to pay tax or transfer debts — with Falcao’s Atlético Madrid among them. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/european/9535299/Europa-League-winners-Atletico-Madrid-fall-foul-of-financial-fair-play-rules-as-Uefa-withholds-prize-money.html
The Colombian was the star turn in Atlético’s 4-1 European Super Cup win over Chelsea last month, scoring a hat-trick. But his club’s failure to pay their share of €1.35 billion in tax and social security debts Spanish football clubs owe to their government has finally caught up with them.
According to the Spanish daily El País, Atlético Madrid is paying 4.5 per cent interest on the outstanding €115 million they owe Spain’s treasury, amounting to an annual payment of €15 million. But although a deal has been struck with the tax authority, the debt means last season’s Europa League winners fall foul of Uefa’s financial fair play rules that demand clubs keep up to date on tax payments.
“The [Uefa] Club Financial Control Body’s investigatory chamber has identified that important overdue payables towards other clubs, and/or towards employees or social/tax authorities existed in 23 cases,” said Uefa in a statement.
“[Therefore] 23 clubs involved in 2012/13 Uefa club competitions have seen the payment of their prize money temporarily withheld pending further investigation. This [withholding] measure will remain in force until all identified balances have been settled in full or until a final decision by the CFCB adjudicatory chamber is taken.”
There have also been reports in the Spanish sports daily Marca that Porto claim Atlético have failed to keep up to date with instalments on the transfer fee for Falcao, who moved between the clubs in July 2011. Atlético reportedly admit money is outstanding but say they will soon pay up.
Whether the situation will force Atlético to sell their prize asset is unclear. A significant proportion of any fee raised would in any case flow to the Quality Football third-party-ownership fund controlled by Peter Kenyon and Jorge Mendes at the time of the transfer, since it owns a stake in his registration rights.
Intriguingly, Málaga, the Qatar-owned club whose extravagant spending propelled them into this season’s Champions League, is another Liga club to have prize-money payments withheld over outstanding debts.
Among the mostly Bosnian, Croatian, Romanian and Serbian clubs on the Uefa list, the names of Sporting Lisbon and Russia’s three-times Champions League participants Rubin Kazan also stand out.
All 23 clubs have until 30 September to update Uefa on their progress in settling the debts.