Rapid Bucharest players strike over unpaid wages

Rapid Bucharest players strike over unpaid wages
By Reuters

16/04/2013 at 23:42Updated 17/04/2013 at 00:45

Rapid Bucharest's players have gone on strike and will not play their Romanian top-flight fixture at FC Viitorul Constanta on Saturday in a protest over unpaid wages.

"We will not train and we will not play our next match," captain Daniel Pancu said.

The club drew 1-1 with city rivals Steaua on Sunday in a match interrupted in the second half due to crowd trouble.

Rapid's players showed discontent at their situation earlier this month, displaying a banner before the league match at Gloria Bistrita and asking for help from the country's football authorities.

The club's management was not available for immediate comment on Tuesday.

In December the triple Romanian champions, who have spent heavily in recent years, filed for insolvency after running up huge debts.

Local media say players have only been receiving 10 percent of their salaries for months.

A few months ago Rapid unveiled a plan to offload every foreign player in an attempt to ease their wage bill.

Almost a dozen have since left with Brazilian keeper Pechana and compatriot Wallace the only survivors.

Rapid, though, have been doing well in the league recently and have conceded one goal in their last five matches.

They are seventh in the table with 38 points from 26 matches, 26 behind leaders Steaua.

Many Romanian clubs are struggling to meet administrative, legal and financial conditions laid down by European soccer's governing body UEFA.

League president Dumitru Dragomir said recently that several clubs were on the brink of collapse due to spiralling debts.