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Hamburg fearful over debts

Hamburg chief executive Carl-Edgar Jarchow fears the signing of Rafael van der Vaart will take the club deep into debt.

• Arnesen hits back at critics

After last season's dismal campaign, Hamburg invested €24 million in new players this summer despite having operated in the red for the past two years.

When asked during an interview with the NDR radio station whether he feared the Van der Vaart deal would take the club into serious debt, Jarchow replied: "I fear that indeed!"

However, Jarchow is confident that the bulk of the new arrivals are of an age "where they will be of future financial value for the club". Besides the deal to sign 29-year-old Van der Vaart, Hamburg brought in 26-year-old Petr Jiracek, 23-year-old Milan Badelj and 24-year-old Artem Rudnev. The club also signed Paul Scharner, 32, and Rene Adler, 27, on free transfers.

According to kicker sources, local multimillionaire Hans-Michael Kuhne was heavily involved in the Van der Vaart deal. He lent Hamburg €8 million, and in return received 30% of the transfer rights to the Dutchman but at the same time handed back the transfer rights for Heiko Westermann, Marcell Jansen, Dennis Aogo, Dennis Diekmeier and Lennard Sowah. He also relinquished money owed to him for Paolo Guerrero, believed to be €1.4 million.

Jarchow defended director of football Frank Arnesen, who has faced heavy criticism for his efforts. Arnesen, formerly with Chelsea, came under heavy fire for various matters, including the use of two separate agents when signing Milan Badelj from Dinamo Zagreb as well as upping the transfer fee without need. "Everyone on the board agrees that the transfer fee and the conditions are reasonable," Jarchow said.

He also insisted press reports that he had openly criticised Arnesen were based on a misunderstanding, saying his criticism of Hamburg's transfer efforts last week were directed at the board and not Arnesen alone. He accused the media of "pure interpretation" over the matter.

Meanwhile, Hamburg have announced they will travel to Brazil in December to play Gremio on December 8, for which they will receive €800,000. Hamburg face Hoffenheim on December 7 and Bayer Leverkusen on December 15, but Arnesen has defended the decision.

"Despite the tight schedule, we are happy to accept the invitation and to present us in the host country of the next World Cup," Arnesen said.


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