Getafe midfielder Pedro Leon's future is uncertain after his club opted not to register him for the new La Liga season for financial reasons.
The suburban Madrid outfit's agreed 2014-14 budget under the La Liga authorities newly introduced regulations is 17 million euros, and it was apparently decided not to include the former Real Madrid player as his relatively big salary would have taken them over that limit.
Getafe exercised an option to buy the previously on-loan Pedro Leon from Madrid twelve months ago, then this summer tried to sell him to one of Sevilla, West Ham or Hannover. But a deal could not be agreed, partly because Getafe wanted five million euros as his former club would also get a share of fee. Club president Angel Torres then attempted to get the player to agree to take a pay-cut, without success.
The Murcian is now unregistered to play for any club until January at the earliest, although he will reportedly take a case against both the club and La Liga, via the Spanish players union [AFE], in the hope of getting free transfer away from the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Getafe president Angel Torres told AS that such a conclusion was not on the cards, while suggesting the whole affair was the player's own fault.
"Pedro cannot play until December, or for another year, it is up to him," Torres said. "He had the chance to fix it and if it has not been sorted out nobody is to blame. The LFP have fulfilled their obligation. There are no explanations needed. The club is in agreement. There is no row. I am happy with the squad I have. Full stop."
AFE legal advisor Santiago Nebot told Marca that in his view the case was far from over, saying: "If [Getafe] did not want him, they should not have exercised their option to buy. He cannot play now, but he has a contract and Getafe must pay him. La Liga is obliging a club to have a player who cannot produce anything."
Other clubs have also had issues with dealing with the new "economic control" regulations. Atletico Madrid's loan of Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld to Southampton freed up five million euros in their budget to help sign Alessio Cerci from Torino on deadline day, while Elche were also denied permission to sign midfielder Jose Canas from Swansea as it would have pushed the financially troubled club over the limit.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has defended the rules, which reportedly do not apply to either Barcelona or Real Madrid, by telling El Partido de las Doce that such self-regulation was needed as clubs had for years been living beyond their means.
"[The budget] is the global amount that clubs can play in salaries of players and amortisation [of transfers]," Tebas said. "It is not fixed. It depends on the club's debts, if they are in administration, its costs. It is calculated based on what the club can spend.
"Nobody thought we were capable of regulating ourselves and we are showing we can do it. We have imposed strong rules because over the years we made mistakes. And now those are being reduced."