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May 22, 2013

Depor forced into drastic cuts

Deportivo la Coruna are to cancel their pay TV subscription, stop buying sports newspapers and turn off the wifi in the Riazor press box as the club's board continues to struggle against constraints imposed by the administrators.

Since the in-debt Galician club entered administration, owing more than €150 million, under Spain's Ley Concursal in January, a number of significant cost-cutting steps have been taken, including stopping the payment of salaries to long-serving club president Cesar Augusto Lendoiro and his fellow directors.

The latest - seemingly trivial - measures were announced via Depor's website on Tuesday evening, with the blame being put on judge Rafael Garcia Perez, who is overseeing the administration process.

A statement read: "Following the strict fulfillment of the limits drawn up by Senor Judge Rafael Garcia Perez, the board of Real Club Deportivo has decided, among others, the following methods: cancel the wifi the club maintains for the media at Riazor on match days, to reduce telephone bills; cancel subscription to Canal Satelite Digital, the medium by which the coaches follow games and players; stop buying the daily sports papers, for the information of the coaching team; stop the official meals with clubs who visit and all costs in the executive box. Real Club Deportivo wishes to underline that is is complying to the letter with the directions of the judge, but it does not agree with them."

This step appears to be related to Garcia Perez's statement earlier on Tuesday that he did not understand how Depor continued to make "superfluous" payments given the club's perilous financial situation. According to La Voz de Galicia, the judge said that "basic services" were okay, but some continuing costs - such as €120 per person dinners billed to the Playa Club La Coruna, a restaurant and venue also owned by the club, must cease.

Depor's biggest creditors are the Spanish taxman (€94 million) and two Galician banks (€36 million between them). In March, the club's administrators (AD Cryex) called for "radical change" at board level, which was assumed to mean an end to Lendoiro's 35 up and down seasons as president. However, the 67-year-old remains in nominal charge of day-to-day affairs at Riazor.

Representatives for the Spanish tax authorities complained in court this week that the club continues to carry on business "as if nothing had happened" instead of making cuts necessary to pay its debts and ensure its survival, La Voz de Galicia added.

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