Sixteen players from Portuguese outfit Uniao Leiria have cancelled their contracts with the football club and are refusing to play. They have not been paid for three months.
Negotiations between the club which has played in the country’s top tier for 15 seasons and the players union have reached an impasse.
“It is important to make clear that Portuguese football has not respected these professional players with regards to failing to pay their salaries,” explained
Joaquim Evangelista who is the Players’ Union President.
The outgoing president of the club, Joao Bartolomeu believes it could be the end for Uniao Leiria. “If the contracts are cancelled the club shareholders will have to decide, but in my personal opinion, Uniao Leiria will have to quit professional football,” he said.
A skeleton squad trained ahead of their scheduled Sunday fixture against Feirense. The side sit bottom of the league poised for relegation and perhaps extinction. The chill wind of recession has swept into Portuguese football.