La Liga: Credit Crunch

XXX XXXSenior Writer IAugust 6, 2008

This looks like being one of the quietest summers on record for the transfer market. The economic crisis appears to be hitting home in Spain, with Barcelona the only club to really "flash the cheque book" up to now.

The €93 million laid out by the Catalan club on their six new signings represents almost 40 percent of the estimated total spend of €243 million by top flight teams to date, with ten sides having spent less than €3 million on new players and Numancia, Osasuna, Racing, Sporting, and Valladolid yet to pay out anything.

Madrid are expected to increase that figure after they signed Rafael Van der Vaart, and if they do get Cristian Ronaldo then that could set off a chain reaction. Right now, though, it appears that most people are battening down the hatches.

The situation is even worse in the second division, with no less than six clubs filing for protection from creditors under the Spanish "ley concursal," and many others struggling to meet the July 31 deadline to be up to date with payments to players in order to avoid automatic relegation.

Only Zaragoza, Murcia, and Hércules have any cash to spend, and around three quarters of the sides have yet to pay out anything for their new players. Levante are worse off than anyone though, and they agreed terms to rescind the contracts of no less than twenty members of their squad this summer.


Alby Jnr