Ecuador’s national football federation said that Deportivo Cuenca will be allowed to play Friday following the payment of $30,000 to a former goalkeeper and his agent. The federation said, however, that the team must pay much larger sums against its debt in the coming weeks to avoid relegation to the country’s B-league or outright bankruptcy.
Under the agreement, Cuenca will play El Nacional Friday night at Alejandro Serrano Aguilar stadium.
At a Monday night press conference, club president Claudio Peñaherrera revealed that Deportivo Cuenca total debt amounts to almost $1.6 million, much more than previously reported. Included in the debt is $628,000 owed to Ecuador’s Internal Revenue Service and about $25,000 to the Social Security system. Of immediate concern, according to Peñaherrera, is that the club’s players have not been paid for three months.
“The outlook is not good and we will need the help of all our fans and the community to survive the crisis,” Peñaherrera said.
A group of team supporters calling itself the Club of 300 met Tuesday and announced plans to raise money $300,000 to keep Deportivo Cuenca afloat.
The Club of 300 includes former managers and players and is led by Manuel Vega and Mario Esteban Espinoza, who were part of Cuenca’s last national championship team in 2004.