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Red Star players go unpaid

RED Star Belgrade players are struggling to pay for food and rent because of financial woes at the former European Cup winner, midfielder Mirnes Sisic said.

The Slovenian, who joined Red Star during the mid-season break in January, said he faced eviction from his flat as the club had failed to pay him any wages since he arrived. "The landlord came over earlier this week and told me to pay three months' rent I owe him or pack my stuff and leave," Sisic told newspapers yesterday.

"If Red Star can't at least give me money for a roof over my head, never mind what the club owes me in wages, I will have no choice but to go back to Slovenia and stay with my parents.

"I can't believe a club of Red Star's stature has allowed this to happen. Young players are in an even more humiliating position, as we give them daily handouts so that they can buy themselves some lunch and coffee."

While battling its own credit crunch and rifts within the board, Red Star could also be in trouble with football's authorities after its fans set fire to stadium seats at rival Partizan following Wednesday's 0-2 derby defeat.

Red Star, whose team is a far cry from the 1991 outfit which won Europe's premier club competition, may face a hefty fine.

The loss to champion and league leader Partizan left Red Star 14 points off the pace and while managing director Ilija Ivic conceded the title race was over, he vowed to stay at the club in an effort to pull it out of the doldrums.


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