By Richard Martin
BARCELONA (Reuters) – Troubled Spanish second division side Reus have reached a deal to make outstanding payments to their players, meaning they will avoid automatic expulsion from the league, the club said on Saturday.
“Reus announces that right now the club is making the necessary payments to the first team players, a process which will be completed in the next few hours,” said a statement from the Catalans, who are third from bottom in the second tier.
“Therefore, the club’s continuity in the second division is guaranteed.”
Reus were on the verge of going out of business, with the players saying in a joint statement on Friday that they would report the club to the league unless all outstanding payments were received by Monday, meaning they would be free to leave.
The Catalan club, based about 100km south-west of Barcelona, had not paid the players for three months and, according to local media, have debts of five million euros (£4.50 million).
The settlement avoids an administrative headache for the league because expelling Reus would have meant the club’s future opponents would have been given three points and previous results would have stood.
The Spanish league said on Friday that it would guarantee the players salaries for the rest of the season as part of a deal with the Spanish players’ association.
But the players had said they would only accept being paid by the club itself, as the league’s deal would not have led to non-playing staff being paid.
Reus host Cordoba later on Saturday which, before the pay deal was announced, was expected to be their last ever game.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Ken Ferris)