Argentinian football clubs hit out over TV revenue payments

Clubs in Argentina’s Primera División, the top tier of football in the country, have claimed they are in a “dramatic” situation over alleged non-payment of broadcast rights revenue by the Argentinian Football Association.

In a joint statement, the clubs have said the AFA did not make any payments in May, June and July, and only made “partial or minimum payments” in October and November. They also claim no payments have been received for this month.

“We want to express that the financial situation we are experiencing as a result of the non-payment of television rights has become dramatic,” the statement read, according to Argentinian news agency EFE. “Audiovisual money represents for the majority the main economic sustenance.”

The statement added: “We are on a constant state of alert, with absolute uncertainty about how we can move forward with our clubs in the immediate future.”

The move from the clubs comes with the government-backed Football for All (FPT) scheme, which ensures free-to-air coverage of domestic football competitions, having come to a close on Monday.

The Argentinian championship is set to resume on February 3, with a new rights deal having yet to be agreed.

Marcelo Tinelli, vice-president of Primera División club San Lorenzo, last week said an “excellent meeting” had been held with international sports broadcaster ESPN and Spanish agency Mediapro over the next set of rights to club football in the country.

ESPN and Mediapro are said to have joined forces with a view to entering a bid for the rights and Tinelli, who heads a commission that has been formed to lead the negotiations, provided an update following a meeting held on Saturday.

It emerged last month that US media companies Fox and Turner had put forward a 15-year offer for the rights.