Monday, August 8

Argentine and Brazilian soccer teams owe more than 10 million to the Spanish Treasury

Four South American soccer teams, two Argentines and two Brazilians, are among the more than 7,000 names of companies and individuals with debts to the Tax Agency of more than 600,000 euros. Santos and Cruzeiro, from Brazil, and Banfield and Racing, from Argentina, appear on the list of defaulters made public last week by the tax authority in Spain. Between this quartet, they add up to more than 10 million euros due to the tax effects of the sale of players to Spanish teams.

The new list of delinquent Treasury includes the aristocrat Luis Medina, commissioner of the ‘mask case’

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Banfield is the latest team to join this list. This is a team popularly known as Evita’s because of the support that Eva Perón gave it in a match during the fifties. It is not among the most awarded clubs in Argentina, although it served as a springboard to Europe for some famous players such as James Rodríguez or Javier Zanetti. The team has entered the last list of defaulters of the Tax Agency – whose date corresponds to December of last year – with more than 1.2 million euros.

The other three South American teams were already on the Treasury list in previous editions. The one with the biggest debt is Racing de Avellaneda, precisely the club that faced Banfield in that match in which this second team received Perón’s support. It is the third most successful team in Argentina, behind Boca and River, and accumulates a debt of almost 3.5 million euros. Players such as Luciano Vietto, today in Saudi Arabia, or Rodrigo de Paul came to Spain from this team.

The other two Latin American clubs are the Brazilians Cruzeiro and Santos. Both Madrid and Barça have captured players from the first of these clubs, although without great success, such as Geovanni or Lucas Silva. This team owes 2.35 million to the Treasury, compared to just over 670,000 euros from the previous list. Santos is, of the four, the club best known to football fans for having been the birthplace of Pelé. Also because some of the most outstanding signings of Spanish teams in Brazil in recent years emerged from this team, such as Neymar, Rodrygo or Robinho. In this case, the debt amounts to almost 3.3 million euros.

It is precisely the sale of players that causes these teams to appear on the delinquent lists. This occurs because in the agreements that Spain has with other countries, such as Argentina or Brazil, to avoid double taxation, it is considered that capital gains must be taxed in the countries where they are generated. Selling a player, who is after all an asset to the club, generates these capital gains. Various economic-administrative courts are considering that, since the added value of the operation is generated in Spain, since it is where the player is going to compete, the capital gain is generated in Spain. This is what would have generated the debt of these clubs.

The relationship between football and the list of defaulters goes back a long way. Every year this registry is published, which until 2020 only included those who owed more than a million, various names of soccer players have appeared. Samuel Eto’o or Daniel Alves are some of the athletes who appear on the current list, while other football names such as Neymar or Ancelotti were in the past, but have now disappeared. There are also numerous football clubs listed. A dozen Spanish teams total 48.29 million euros. These data do not take into account debts with Social Security, only those with the Tax Agency.

Former top clubs

It is a list of clubs with a past in the elite that today play in lower divisions or are even missing. The largest debt is the one in the name of the Salamanca Sports Union, with 13.4 million euros. It is a complicated debt to be recovered by the State, since this team does not exist, after being dissolved in 2013. Currently, there are two clubs that dispute the sporting heritage of that squad that became a member of the First Division: Unionistas and the Salamanca CF. The first plays in the First RFEF —third level of football in Spain— and the second, in the Third RFEF —fifth level—.

Another great debt is the one carried by Real Murcia CF, with 10.13 million euros. This is another club that became a member of the First Division of Spanish football for several years, but is now struggling to stay in the lower categories of Spanish football. Numerous scandals, managerial problems and shareholder disputes led the club to an unsustainable financial situation and bankruptcy. At the end of last year, the debt amounted to 32 million, of which a third correspond to the Treasury.

Xerez Deportivo is another club that went from the first levels of football to the modest categories in a few years due to its enormous economic problems. With a huge debt, it was administratively relegated to the third division a decade ago. More than twenty players reported that they had not received their salaries. As a fact, Javier Tebas, today president of LaLiga, was the team’s lawyer during his bankruptcy. His debt today with the Public Treasury reaches 8.8 million while, while facing a new campaign in the Third RFEF.

Like Salamanca, Murcia or Xerez, Club Polideportivo Mérida made two brief steps through the first division in the nineties. The club ended up disappearing shortly after due to the large debts it dragged on. Two decades later, the Tax Agency continues to notify 4.85 million debt. Neither does the Extremadura Unión Deportiva anymore, a club created in 2007 when the previous reference team in the Community, CF Extremadura, which had been in the First Division, was already on the verge of dissolution due to its debts. The validity of the Sports Union did not last long, which this year announced its liquidation with debts with the players and the Tax Agency. Add 2.8 million.

Much greater was the journey of Hercules in First Division, where he has played on multiple occasions. However, economic problems brought the club to the brink of disappearance a few years ago, having to renegotiate its debt with the Tax Agency. Today this liability is around 2.4 million, although it has been reduced, since a year before it exceeded 3 million. The rest of the names on the list include clubs with a more modest history such as Atlético Alcantarilla (1.84 million), Jaén (1.07 million), Reus (1.38 million) or Lleida (1.69 million). millions).

Spanish football, especially the most modest clubs, have suffered for years from the excesses of yesteryear, from a history linked in many cases to urban planning scandals or to businessmen linked to the brick. Taking into account only professional football, the First and Second division teams came to have a huge debt both with the Tax Agency and with Social Security. As reported a few months ago by the economic-financial report of LaLiga, the employers of these teams, in the 2012/2013 season, the debt with these two state agencies of the 42 teams that make up the two main divisions amounted to 650 million euros. Today they number 17 million.