Malaga reassure fans over finances
Malaga have reacted to Tuesday morning's UEFA announcement that the club could not receive prize money owed until it sorted out its finances by assuring fans that the issues involved are close to being resolved.
The Qatari-owned Andalucians were among 23 clubs involved in UEFA's 2012-13 competitions who have had prize money withheld as financial investigations are carried out, but the club say that they have already paid many of the debts which were outstanding and are close to agreeing a deal to pay its remaining taxes.
"As was made public more than a month ago a process of internal restructuring, to guarantee the future viability of the club, has commenced," the statement released on Malaga's website read. "Its point of departure was to face up to the economic liabilities acquired previously using its own resources, balancing its revenues and expenditures in order to fulfill the criteria for UEFA's Financial Fair Play.
"The club is still immersed in this process. It has normalised its financial situation with other clubs, employees and players and has begun a negotiation with the Spanish tax authorities, with whom they have still not reached a final agreement, although the quantity owed has been reduced significantly during the last month.
"The debt recognised today in the UEFA communication was communicated by Malaga Club de Futbol itself to the institution, during a transparent and fluid communication between the two organisations. The inclusion of Malaga on the list is a precautionary step, not a sanction, which can be lifted when an agreement is reached with the Spanish government, a situation which the club has been working towards for some weeks."
This summer saw prolonged turmoil at Malaga after owner Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani called a halt to his previously lavish investment, and players including Santi Cazorla and Salomon Rondon were subsequently sold to raise money to pay debts.
The team's achievement in overcoming Greek side Panathinaikos in a play-off to reach the group stages of the Champions League should net the club at least €10.7 million in prize money, with much more to follow depending on how far they progress.
Europa League and European Supercup winners Atletico Madrid were La Liga's other representative on the UEFA list. They have not commented publicly on the matter, but "club sources" assured Madrid-based newspaper AS that Atletico were co-operating with UEFA investigations into their finances and would comment on the matter after a meeting scheduled for early October.
AS reports that Atletico - who owe over €150 million in taxes - have agreed to pay off €16.5 million of this debt by early October, using money from the sales in the recent transfer window of defender Alvaro Dominguez to Borussia Monchengladbach and winger Eduardo Salvio to Benfica.