Given that it sits on the Costa do Morte, or 'Coast of Death', and averages 320 days of rain a year, the residents of La Coruna don't usually need any additional reason to be depressed.

But last week they were given one.

A visit from the tax authorities is becoming as daunting for La Liga clubs as a visit from the Spanish Inquisition once was, and Deportivo de La Coruna are the latest to feel the wrath of the Hacienda.

With some sources putting the club's debt at €90m, €14m of the Blanquiazules’ €18m projected income has been placed under embargo. The repercussions could be unpaid wages, receivership or worse, and the problem puts an even more dreary complexion on what was already looking like a long, hard season for Jose Luis Oltra's charges.

The Depor side that returned to the top flight this summer bore no resemblance to the one that so nearly won the La Liga title in 1994, or the one that actually did in 2000, or the one that performed one of European football's greatest comebacks against Milan en route to the Champions League semi-finals in 2004.

But the glitz and glamour had faded long before their eventual relegation from the Primera Division in 2011. It was no disgrace for the current team not to be as good as the 'Super Depor' or 'Tower of Babel' sides, but the worry was that after the losses of top scorer Lassad, top assist provider Andres Guardado and defensive stalwart Diego Colotto, they weren't even as good as the side that had swept to the Segunda title in May.

Their early results belied that scepticism, Depor defeating Osasuna, coming from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at Valencia and remaining unbeaten until Week 5. After that, however, they fell into a sharp decline and at present, following the 5-3 loss to Real Zaragoza last weekend, sit 18th in La Liga, just two points above bottom club Osasuna.

The news of their financial woe therefore arrives at an interesting time. Will it compound Depor's current difficulties, or forge a siege mentality and inspire them to succeed against the odds?

Levante, Malaga – they don't have to look far to find examples of clubs that have turned similar off field problems to their advantage.

“Training and games will take our minds off the situation and when we compete it will not affect us,” insists captain Manuel Pablo, whilst teammate Juan Dominguez has spoken of 'doing our job' and staying out of 'matters that do not concern us'.

The crisis could even serve to strengthen and unify what – from the outside at least – looks like a fairly disparate group, with no less than seven squad members on loan from Portuguese clubs.

But of course, there's no guarantee the reaction will be a positive one, and no sense in reading the script before it's written. Only when they take the field to face Levante this Sunday lunchtime, will we begin to see what these Depor players are made of, and what kind of season the Riazor faithful are in for.

La Liga - Club News