Top Peru club to sell training fields to pay tax debt

Updated: September 23, 2009, 8:33 PM ET

LIMA, Sept 23 - Peru's Universitario have put their training grounds up for sale to clear a tax debt and avoid the threat of bankruptcy, the club's manager German Leguia said on Wednesday.

Tax officials said this week the club, one of Peru's biggest and most popular teams, had debts of 55 million soles ($19.1 million) and should be declared bankrupt.

But Leguia, a former international player, said the club believed the actual debt was closer to 32 million soles and would be cleared by the sale of their 15-hectare Campo Mar training grounds south of Lima, which could go for $20 million.

"There is a serious offer (for the grounds). The land studies were carried out two weeks ago and today or tomorrow (Thursday) all the legal part should be ready," Leguia told reporters.

Most of Peru's clubs are in financial difficulties, which have not been helped by their poor results in South American competitions.

The national team is also struggling, currently sitting bottom of the 10-nation South American World Cup qualifying group and with no chance of making next year's finals in South Africa.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires, editing by Julian Linden; to query or comment on this story email

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