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South Americans 'forced to sell best players'

25 December 2006 09:49

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 24 (AFP) - South America's top clubs reportedly have to sell off their best players to cure an economic crisis caused by bad management and stayaway fans.

The Deloitte company claim that the transfers of players accounted for 30 percent of income for Brazilian clubs in 2005, 50 percent for Argentinian sides and 53 percent for Uruguayan teams, according to a survey in the Brazilian O Globo newspaper.

In those countries, gate receipts bring in just seven percent of revenue.

However, in Europe, ticket sales are responsible for 34 percent of English clubs' incomes, 31 percent in Spain and 16 percent in Italy.

Only Mexico among Latin American countries can boast a similar balance to Europe with 25 percent of revenue generated at the turnstiles compared to 23 percent from the sale of players.

Brazil was the top exporter of talent in 2005 with 804 players, worth 100 million dollars (76 million euros), on the move.

Brazilian international Robinho was the most expensive export costing Real Madrid 30 million dollars (22.8m euors) when he left Santos.

Despite the transfer revenues, Brazilian clubs still ended 2005 with a combined deficit of 83.5 million dollars (63.5 million euros), reported Deloitte.

The O Globo newspaper concluded that South American clubs were caught up in a vicious circle - fans stay away from the games as the top stars can only be seen on television, playing in the top European leagues.

In the last 10 years, the average attendance at Brazilian games has been 12,000, with 10,600 in Argentina and just 4,800 in Chile.

In Europe, the figure is 20,000.

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