New rules for sports clubs

The government is resolved to clear the messy picture of the finances of professional sports clubs before the next season opens later this year by introducing special measures under an overhauled framework, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said after conferring with his colleague of sports Giorgos Orfanos. «It is the last chance for Greek professional sports which must not missed. The government is resolved to bring order to their finances,» said Papathanassiou. Orfanos said they had finalized the draft proposals of a comprehensive plan, which will also deal with the phenomenon of sports violence. «We tackled two basic aspects. One is the financial situation of clubs in terms of debts and share capital, and the other in how we shall proceed with regard to measures of restoring them on a course of financial strength and growth,» he said. Orfanos said that while each club will be placed on different scales according to their total debts, the plan will also deal with those clubs that will consent to come under the new measures but will not be able to meet their obligations. Their ultimate status will depend on their willingness to show consistency in their new framework. «Today, nine out of 10 clubs should not be operating, and this cannot continue. They will be given reasonable time to reconstitute their share capital, and to be able to repay their debts. It is up to them to respond,» he said. Next season’s championships will begin on the basis of the new provisions, and all clubs will be informed of the conditions to be met in all fields in order to participate, in Greece and Europe.