Is Romanian Football slowly drifting towards an end?
The global financial crisis is forcing football clubs all over the world to take cover. Those who can will figure out a way to stay afloat by either bringing in investment or selling their very souls to remain functioning, like in the case of that one Greek club that was sponsored by a brothel for a while until it was flagged by the governing body.
Few examples we have heard of among the many are the following:
English FA Cup finalists, Portsmouth went into administration twice in 09/10 and 11/12; Rangers filed for bankruptcy prior to this season and Greek powerhouse, Panathinaikos, were told to play during day time as they could not afford to pay the bills to keep the lights running at their home ground.
And most recently, one of the top clubs in Romania – Rapid Bucharest – ended up filing for bankruptcy. The three time Champions of Romania’s Liga I, a team that lifted the Romanian Cup 13 times and has been a UEFA Cup (Europa) quarter-finalist in 05/06, is on the verge of closing down.
They are also among the nine including Spain’s Malaga who are facing punishment from the European body over deferred payments to their staff members, other teams and tax officials.
Filing for insolvency basically means that they will not be issued a license for next year, as Romanian law does not grant one to a “broke” club.
The blame, according to club officials, lies with the Romanian government as Romania is the only country in the world that pays VAT twice or thrice a year to players.
And it does not end there. This concern is not just related to Rapid Bucharest but all eyes are on their city rivals, Dinamo Bucharest and Romanian league Champions – CFR Cluj as financial anxieties exist within all the clubs in the league.
And no-one, including UEFA, at the moment, has a concrete answer on how to resolve the issue.