A large number of players in Portugal are being forced to seek financial assistance just to cover their everyday expenses, the Portuguese Association of Professional Footballers has revealed.
Although the Portuguese Liga's top clubs like Porto and Benfica have millions of euros in their budget, the league's smaller teams are reportedly overspending, forcing delays in player wages.
Joaquim Evangelista, head of the Footballers Association, believes Portugal's reputation could be tarnished if players continue to turn to the union for support.
"The vast majority of professional clubs in Portugal had salary delays last season, with six-month delays in the most extreme cases," Evangelista told Reuters. "This has led to Portuguese and foreign players being unable to pay their rent and food, surviving thanks to our union.
"This situation is getting worse. I alert you that delays will happen again next season. Most Portuguese clubs live far beyond their means and don't make an effort to adjust. On the contrary, they think: 'If I'm successful, I'll collect revenues later so I'll take that risk."
Former Benfica midfielder Filipe Falardo admits he is not surprised by the recent trend of players asking for wage support.
"I've suffered it (salary delays) first hand,' Falardo said. "I've had to go to court because clubs don't fulfil their deals. It happens every year."