LA LIGA IN CRISIS

Administrators give Deportivo La Coruña 15-day ultimatum

Historic Galician soccer club faces extinction unless agreement with creditors is reached

Deportivo's president, Augusto César Lendoiro.
Deportivo's president, Augusto César Lendoiro. GABRIEL TIZÓN

After six months without effective solutions and brimming with buried tensions between those in charge of the insolvency proceedings and club president Augusto César Lendoiro, the situation at Deportivo La Coruña has reached an absolute crisis point.

The receivers, Francisco Prada and Julio Fernández Maestre, have urged the Galician soccer club and its creditors to sign an agreement within the next 15 days. If they don't, they will turn to a judge to propose liquidation.

One of nine Liga champions, Depor boasts a more than 100-year history and its fans have packed its Riazor home ground in recent months, leading coach Fernando Vázquez to say that it is impossible for such a club to disappear.

But disappear it might, just as Palencia and Salamanca have already done this year, while Xerez and Racing Santander find themselves in similar situations.

Depor's relegation to Segunda has complicated its situation and the club no longer has the funds to meet its commitments to players, which have risen to 12 million euros. In total it owes 156 million euros -- 93.7 million to the tax agency. Lendoiro now plans to focus his efforts on reaching an urgent agreement with the creditors, but the administrators have asked that it be the latter that take the initiative.

"All this does a lot of damage, but there is no danger of liquidation because that would be madness and neither us, nor the creditors, nor the AFE [the Association of Spanish Soccer Players] are crazy," Lendoiro said.

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