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Portugal's financial crisis hits soccer

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 01:41

July 23 - It's not all high wages and big transfer fees in Portugal's soccer leagues. As Hayley Platt reports the economic crisis means some players are experiencing delays in their wages forcing some to seek aid.

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He's one of soccer's highest paid players, reportedly earning $3 million dollars a month at Real Madrid . But many of Christiano Ronaldo's contemporaries back home in Portugal are struggling to even buy food. Cash-strapped clubs hit by Portugal's financial crisis are having trouble paying their players. Many like midfielder Filipe Falardo - a former Benfica player - have been forced to take aid from a soccer union. SOUNDBITE: Filipe Falardo, Portuguese midfielder, saying (Portuguese): "Just like any other workers we have a family. We have responsibilities. If we agree to go to a club to earn a certain wage, we expect the amount at the end of the month to pay for our expenses. When that money doesn't arrive things get difficult at home." The Portuguese Association of Professional Footballers is trying to help - financially and psychologically. By the end of 2012 it had handed out 350,000 euros to hard-up players. But part of the problem is the way clubs manage their finances. SOUNDBITE: Joaquim Evangelista, head of the Portuguese Association of Professional Footballers, saying (Portuguese): "Salaries in the vast majority of first and second division clubs had delays and now the deadline for financial controls draws to a close clubs have formally said everything is ok but the fact is players have not yet been paid." Portugal is stuck in the worst recession for 40 years. It's agreed to tough austerity measures in exchange for a bailout. But the crisis has made it harder for football clubs to access credit. And while millions of euros still flows through the top clubs like Porto and Benfica - many of those below them are struggling, threatening Portugal's position as one of the top eight soccer playing nations in Europe.

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Portugal's financial crisis hits soccer

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 01:41