AFA today announced that 14 first division clubs, including second-placed Newell’s, San Lorenzo, Independiente and Estudiantes, will not be permitted to bolster their squads during this month’s transfer window as a consequence of teams’ failures to pay debts.
The list, which was released by the association’s Normalizing Committee yesterday afternoon, outlined the 16 teams that will be able to make signings, “for not having debts owed to AFA” or “for having debts owed to them”. Those able to make additions are: Aldosivi, Belgrano, Godoy Cruz, Racing, Central, Talleres, Unión, Rafaela, Boca, Patronato, River, Sarmiento and Temperley.
That leaves Arsenal, Atlético Tucumán, Banfield, Defensa y Justicia, Estudiantes, Gimnasia, Independiente, Lanús, Newell’s, San Lorenzo, San Martín, Tigre and Vélez on AFA’s ‘lista negra’, a reality that was widely criticised upon its announcement yesterday, most vocally by Independiente spokesperson, Pablo Montoya.
Speaking with TyC Sports, Montoya, son of Club President Hugo Montoya, said “There’s total anarchy inside AFA. They are suffocating clubs in order to turn them into corporations.”
In order for clubs to be re-permitted by the Normalising Committee, they will have to reduce their respective debts by at least 25%. According to Montoya, that equates to AR$20 million in Independiente’s case.
This only adds to the anger which lies in the fact that clubs have yet to be paid the AR$3500 million owed to them by the government for TV rights, as well as compensation for the cancelled Futbol Para Todos contract.
It’s clear to see that clubs are being let down from the top, and without considerable intervention, their financial situations will only stagnate further.