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May 29, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017

Making local soccer clubs into limited companies is impossible

By Eric Weil / Sportsworld

Authorities discuss changes to the Davis Cup tournament

Rodrigo Daskal and Verónica Moreira’s Clubes Argentinos (“Argentine clubs”), a book recently reviewed in the Herald, wants to follow the slogan of President Mauricio Macri’s coalition, “Let’s change,” and transform soccer clubs into limited companies, or what are called here “sociedades anominas.” I could not get the book, but the idea is impossible here even if it is common in many countries, including England of course.

If such a move had been carried out here from the word go, it would have been alright and even if they were managed better, many clubs would have gone bankrupt, closed and their players — of which there seems to be a production line here — would have done their best to move to other countries as soon as possible where there are either richer clubs or clubs which spend more money on players’ salaries than they should.

A limited company, to avoid bankruptcy, could only pay its players what it can afford, according to the money that comes in. In general, local clubs could make more money, apart from match ticket sales, from other sources, but I suppose if they do, the cash would still go down the black hole due to mismanagement and the corruption of club officials.

Would anybody, or any group, in Argentina, be willing to invest in a soccer club? Nobody should believe that money can be made out of such an investment and the richest owners would have the most successful clubs. This also happens in England, and other countries, where the top clubs are owned by billionaires, perhaps as a hobby or advertising.

RIVER PLATE WIN UNEXPECTED

River Plate’s victory in last Sunday’s Superclásico was unexpected, not only because the match took place at Boca Juniors’ stadium, but also because River Plate made eight team changes, resting some players for a mid-week Libertadores Cup game, while Boca Juniors were able to field their same line-up in succession for the first time this season.

It was also memorable because for River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo, as it was his 150th match in charge of the team and for Boca Juniors’ Guillermo Barros Schelotto it was the 50th.

What Gallardo said before the match was curious — “We are going to try and win the match... (I thought that was the general idea.) it is fundamental to try and decrease the gap from leaders Boca Juniors at the top of the championship (I thought that was also the idea).”

Independiente finally won a match at home too and are now eight points from the top, but with a match in hand. But it is a pity that Newell’s Old Boys, whose players are playing despite not having being paid in an effort to win the title, lost to Rosario Central in the Rosario deby. They missed a great chance to reduce their four-point difference with Boca Juniors.

FIGHT AGAINST HOOLIGANS — BY HALF

The government’s security committee prohibited the entry, into any soccer stadium, of Boca Juniors gang leaders Rafael Di Zeo and Mauro Martin, who both have police records. Martín has made an appeal which was not accepted. Another 12 Boca hooligans were also banned from entering stadiums for two years. But why not shove the whole hooligan gang into jail? No room? So build more jails. No money? Last week I explained one of many ways to get the funds. The government is now putting in more effort toward fighting the hooligans. but this is another example of the administration doing things by half.

CHANGES IN THE DAVIS CUP

The authorities in tennis are discussing changing the rules of the Davis Cup, especially concerning sets. But the matter of playing the Davis Cup as a World Cup-style tournament, at one venue over a week is still being discussed. Where does the latest suggestion come from? From Barcelona soccer player Gerard Piqué, who is a keen tennis tournament watcher. Piqué has already spoken to the International Tennis Federation’s President Chris Kermode. Many players are in favour, including top stars Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

RUGBY AGAINST ENGLAND

Argentina play England in two tests next month. They will be satisfied if they beat the European Six Nations champions. But England will be putting out a reserve team, as they always seem to come to Argentina at the same time as the British & Irish Lions go on tour, and England has 16 players in the latter group.

Former Argentine captain Agustín Pichot, now the vice-president of the International Rugby Board (IRB) would like the Lions to come to Argentina. That would be real opposition.

THIS HAPPENED IN SOCCER

Nolo Ferreira, the famous member of the Estudiantes de La Plata forward line which was known as los profesores (“the professors”) went out in his car and skipped a red light. A policeman asked him for his driving licence which he had forgotten and left at home.

“What’s your name?” asked the policeman. “Manuel Ferreira,” he answered. “The player?” asked the policeman and Ferreira answered in the affirmative. “Show me your document,” said the policeman, but Ferreira said he had forgotten it at home together with the driving licence. So the policeman took him to the police station.

There, a similar interrogation took place and he was asked to pay a fine. He had no money on him either and asked: “If I were the player, would you pardon me?” “Yes I would, because I am a fan of Estudiantes,” said the policeman. So the player said he would stay here until somebody came who would recognise him. He had to stay all afternoon before somebody came who did.

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