Grondona too kind to debt-ridden clubs

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Julio Grondona said in an interview published on Wednesday that he may have been too kind-hearted to the country's debt-ridden clubs. Grondona's comments, in an interview with La Nacion newspaper, came one day after he announced that the start of the 2009/10 season could be delayed over money clubs owe to their players. "I was too kind-hearted," said Grondona, who is in his 30th year as AFA president. "I have given money, or rather the AFA has, and I gave them the opportunity to spend more. "Until 1979, AFA had never given money to anybody," he added. "When I arrived at AFA, we helped the clubs." "There are six or seven (first division) clubs with a lot of difficulties," he added. "San Lorenzo, River Plate and Independiente are close to sorting things out. "It's going to be solved. But I'm worried about the future. I don't want to leave debts, I want resources and financially healthy clubs." Argentine domestic football suffers from chronic financial problems and many clubs depend largely on the sale of players to Europe to survive. The Apertura championship, played in the opening half of the 2009/10 season, is scheduled to kick off on August 14. Grondona has blamed the situation on the high salaries paid to players while another problem was that the rights of more and more players were owned by agents and most deals were loans. In 2001, Argentine players went on strike over unpaid wages and loans, claiming they were owed millions of dollars by first and second division clubs.