Spain's La Liga has the reputation of being one of the best leagues in the world, but the reality is that Spanish soccer is hurting. Real Madrid and Barcelona generate huge revenues, but many pro clubs are struggling.
Clubs in the top two Spanish divisions owe players more than $60.50 million in back pay, according to the players' union. "We have had more accusations than ever this year," union president Gerardo Gonzalez Movilla told sports daily AS. "The added problem is that in previous years they would eventually get paid but not now."
A major factor in the crisis has been the collapse of the Spanish real estate market. Many of the key investors in Spanish soccer have been construction magnates who now face hard economic times.