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Turkish, Greek Soccer Teams Unreliable on Wages, Union Says

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Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Soccer players must take advice before signing for teams in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus because of the risk of being paid wages late or not all, according to international player union FIFPro.

Players should consult local soccer union officials about the finances of clubs, especially those that aren’t in European competition and don’t have to adhere to continental ruling body UEFA’s licensing system, Hoofddorp, Netherlands-based FIFPro said on its website.

The off-season trading period in most of Europe’s major leagues closes Sept. 2.

“Clubs do everything possible to win players over, offering them fabulous wages, a luxurious home, ambitious plans” and bonuses, FIFPro said. “Unfortunately, FIFPro has found that many clubs don’t keep these promises.”

It’s time-consuming and sometimes impossible for players to get what they are owed if clubs declare themselves bankrupt, according to FIFPro.

Cyprus’s top division has the highest ratio of foreign players in European soccer at 74.2 percent, according to the CIES Football Observatory in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Almost 51 percent of players in Turkey’s elite division are foreigners, compared to about 35 percent in Greece.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at aduff4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at celser@bloomberg.net

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