8 World Football Clubs Flirting with Financial Disaster

Colin Stone@Colin__StoneContributor IIIMarch 21, 2012

8 World Football Clubs Flirting with Financial Disaster

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    It's every supporter's worst nightmare.

    Fans of Rangers Football Club have been enduring the living hell of knowing their club could go out of business for more than a month now.

    A normal day, just like any other, turned sour in mid-February when it was announced that due to the club's massive financial troubles, the Glasgow giants would be entering administration.

    Your team could be next.

    So, which other teams could be joining the Gers in financial purgatory in the future?

    Let's speculate.

Aston Villa

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    Alex McLeish's troops haven't been performing well this season on the pitch, and they haven't been doing much better on the balance sheet either.

    Posting massive losses of £54 million less than a month ago (as reported by the Guardian) isn't good whatever way you look at it.

    The Villa board have denied that the club is in trouble and claim they are simply preparing for their financial future, but supporters of the Midlands team should be a little concerned.


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    Portsmouth are in deep trouble.

    According to the Daily Mail, the club have reportedly not paid their players since December. Although some of the club's hierarchy have denied this, it looks likely that Portsmouth could fall into administration once again.

    According to Portsmouth.co.uk, Tal Ben Haim is reportedly on £36,000 a week, which is probably one of the main reasons why the English club are struggling so badly.


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    Rangers' Scottish counterparts Hearts have also been struggling with paying their players' wages.

    The troubled Edinburgh club have gone months at a time without delivering money to their squad, but this week's quarterfinal tie in the Scottish Cup could give them the cash boost they need to pay their frustrated team.

    As reported by Scotland's Daily Record, their mounting debts of up to £35 million are not helping matters either.


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    Think Hearts' £35 million of debt is bad? Imagine being €547 million in debt (per the Guardian).

    That's the situation Spanish side Valencia were in back in 2009.

    However, due to selling the likes of David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata, the La Liga team have eased their financial burden—but they're not out of the woods yet.

    In the current economic climate, who knows what could happen to one of the giants of European football?

Real Betis

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    The promoted La Liga side are one of the most famous in Spain, but their current debts threaten to overwhelm the entire club.

    Betis were barred from entering European competition after applying for administration last year and are currently sitting on debts of €84 million (per Spain's El Correo.)

    According to figures high up in the club, they have laid out a plan for stability. In reality, nothing is certain.

Real Zaragoza

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    The men in suits at Spanish clubs don't seem to have much of a clue about basic economics.

    According to Goal.com, Zaragoza are around €110 million in debt, and are the perfect example of how not to run a football club.

    The side applied for voluntary administration in June last year and have remained there ever since, despite recent calls for the major stakeholder to resign from the stricken side (according to the team's official website, per the Guardian).


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    The country of Greece has bore the brunt of the financial meltdown in Europe over the past few years, and nobody has felt it harder than the Greek clubs.

    Panathinaikos, along with AEK on the next slide, were banned from European competition for a year following their dire financial situation.

    It would be a sad sight to see one of the European greats sink out of existence.

AEK Athens

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    AEK, like Pana, are in huge trouble.

    The club is on the brink of insolvency and possible liquidation. UEFA have slapped the club with a huge fine in addition to AEK's ban from European football.

    Bigger clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United are in greater debts than AEK, but at least those clubs can sustain it.

    Athens, it seems, cannot.