Debt threatening to engulf sports clubs
Most soccer and basketball clubs in Greece should no longer be operating because of the size of their debts, Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis told Parliament yesterday as he revealed that the teams owe a combined total of 222 million euros. «We have sports clubs that are heavily in debt and if the full letter of the law was applied, they should have been shut down already,» said Sachinidis. Some clubs, such as AEK’s soccer team, have benefited by invoking a law that allows them to have 95 percent of their debt written off, but Sachinidis said the government is not willing to allow others to do the same as it does not help make the teams more financially sound in the long run. The 18 clubs in Greece’s top flight Super League had their accounts inspected on March 5 and it was found that they owed more than 6.5 million euros in unpaid taxes.