Just as things seemed to be back on track for Argentine football, more issues resurfaced over the long weekend that could further affect the games planned for this weekend.
Head of the football players’ union ‘Futbolistas Agremiados Argentinos’, Sergio Marchi, expressed his disdain at the Argentine Football Association’s failure to address issues of payments of players in recent weeks. He said that without action on that front – i.e teams paying players what they owe them – it will be “impossible” for the tournament to resume this weekend.
In a statement, Marchi stated that March 10th would be an ideal start date for players to begin the season again. This, he says, would allow time for them to receive overdue wages, and called for AFA to pay footballers directly from a Banco Nación account, rather than paying clubs the money which he says is then not spread accordingly among players.
“Yesterday, a club received AR $300,000 from TV rights and they didn’t pay anything to the players”.
“We ask that AFA pay them [players] directly. It would guarantee the payment of salaries… there are clubs that are in order, and others that aren’t.”
This issue comes after he revealed details of a meeting with AFA’s Normalising Committee last week, in which he threatened that players would strike if they were not paid debts he says date back to November.
Marchi further criticised clubs, saying “their irresponsibility surprises me, because they want to play football happily without paying their players… they’re denying reality. There are clubs that can’t afford to cut the grass or pay for their transport.”
Boca President Daniel Angelici also had his say on the matter, stating that things will improve when new measures come in at the start of next season:
“Clubs will know that there will be determined punishments when they don’t comply… there will be a very strict financial fair-play system.”
“The idea that with the ball rolling again, problems will be easier to solve”, he said in a press conference.
Meanwhile, further meetings are expected to take place this afternoon in connection with a deal over TV rights; however, this latest revelation adds another item to the list of issues that need resolving before the season can resume. And with March 3rd two days away, the chances of the tournament resuming seem lower and lower by the minute.