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Jun 24, 2013

Depor president calms relegation fears

Deportivo La Coruna president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro has told fans they should not be worried by reports that the club could be sent down to Spain's third tier if they fail to reach some agreement with creditors by June 30.

Depor, relegated to the Segunda Division after losing at home on the final day of the 2012-13 season, are more than €150 million in debt and in administration under Spain's Ley Concursal procedure.

Lendoiro remains nominally in charge of club affairs while administrators try to strike deals with creditors including the Spanish taxman and a number of banks, current and former players, La Liga and foreign clubs and local and international businesses.

Asked by Marca whether the club could be relegated another division immediately should no quick solution be found, Lendoiro said supporters should have confidence in his ability to guide the club through the crisis.

"It is a lie that that [another relegation] will happen," he added. "I say to the fans that we are working truly, that they should not worry, that everything will come out well, that I have confidence - which has kept us here 25 years - because we have not changed in those 25 years.

"We are working with the exchequer, with the banks, with the players through AFE [players' union] and the league at all levels, and I can say that the fans can be relaxed."

Depor are not the only side facing an uncertain future, with Mirandes also in danger of being sent to the third tier for off-pitch reasons.

The Ebro club successfully avoided relegation in their first-ever Segunda season last term, but must be converted into a limited sporting company this summer in order to retain that status, according to the Spanish league's interpretation of Spain's sports laws.

To do so, the Mirandes board must raise €2,240,600 and 60% of that by the end of June - something a club source told El Pais looked very unlikely. "We must think about preparing next season, in whatever division. We cannot prolong this any more," the source said.

Should Deportivo or Mirandes be sent to Segunda B, the most likely beneficiaries would be Racing Santander, who finished 20th in the Segunda last season.

Racing themselves are in financial and organisational disarray, but could benefit from new rules brought in to try to ensure that clubs' finances are better managed.

Lugo were another Segunda club in a similar situation to Mirandes, but managed to raise the money required thanks mainly to investments from the town hall (€600,000) and provincial government (€900,000), despite being heavily in debt. This use of public funds may be against EU regulations, which forbid state aid in such cases.

Guadalajara, who finished 18th, one point above the drop zone, have already been relegated by the Spanish authorities due to financial irregularities.

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