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Friday, January 25, 2013
'Keeper calm despite Depor financial crisis

Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Deportivo La Coruna goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia says he is not worried about the club's perilous financial situation despite being one of many people owed six or seven-figure sums.

Depor entered administration using Spain's Ley Concursal agreement earlier this month, and La Voz de Galicia revealed that, among the €93 million owed to 212 different creditors, €40 million is owed to the Spanish taxman and a total of €35 million to two banks.

Former Deportivo player Albert Luque, who was sold to Newcastle in 2005, is owed €2.1 million, €750,000 is owed to Atletico Madrid for the signing of defender Ze Castro in 2008, €400,000 to former coach Miguel Angel Lotina, who was sacked in 2011, and €700,000 to current Getafe players Alberto Lopo and Juan Rodriguez.

The club also owes €100,000 to its president, Augusto Cesar Lendoiro, as well as €107,000 to exclusive La Coruna restaurant El Manjar, where the president was known to dine with other executives and player agents.

Smaller sums are owed to local businesses including medical, transport and cleaning services.

Ley Concursal protection is similar to administration in the UK, allowing clubs to strike deals with creditors to write off a portion of the money owed without suffering any sporting sanction.

"This makes me sad and ashamed, but there was no other option," Lendoiro, previously a critic of clubs avoiding their financial commitments, said on January 10 when announcing the decision.

Administrators AD Cryex are currently contacting creditors to begin the negotiation process ahead of a court hearing on March 14.

Veteran keeper Aranzubia, who is owed €280,000, said on Wednesday that he was not thinking about the money because all the players could do was focus on the sporting side of the club.

"I have not done the accounts to see what I am owed," he said. "It is not something that concerns me at all at the moment.

"The team has shown its professionalism, and we have tried to stay away from that. We see that the problems will start being solved soon, but that is not our concern. What concerns us is the sporting situation."

The week's financial revelations have overshadowed the build-up to Saturday's Primera Division game at Riazor, where bottom of the table Deportivo host seventh-placed Valencia.

Recently-installed coach Domingos Paciencia said his players needed a win to boost confidence, adding: "The Valencia game is the most important thing now.

"The team needs to feel that it can win. It is an important game for both teams, but more for us at this moment."

Depor have signed right-back Silvio from Atletico Madrid on loan and veteran midfielder Paulo Assuncao on a free transfer this month despite being insolvent, and reportedly plan to bring in further players before the January transfer window closes.

Only nine of La Liga's current top flight sides - Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Getafe, Sevilla and Espanyol - have not utilised the Ley Concursal since it was introduced in 2003.

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