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Dec 5, 2013

Valencia warned against sale

Valencia’s club federation president Aurelio Martinez says it would be "suicide" to sell Valencia at the moment, amid fears the Liga club could fall into the hands of unscrupulous foreign owners.

Valencia's current home is the Mestalla.
Valencia's current home is the Mestalla.

Reports this week in the local media have claimed that lender Bankia have put the club on the market, having decided this was the only way the bailed-out bank could get back the 81 million euros it is owed by the club’s current controllers, the federation which Martinez heads.

The well-connected businessman, who was appointed to his position just last June, told a news conference on Wednesday that he and his fellow foundation board members would resign if the club was sold without their agreement.

“Bankia has never hidden that it wants to sell Valencia CF, it wants to find an investor to solve the issue of the Foundation’s loan,” Martinez said. “But we [foundation] and Valencia [the club] have said that we will not sell. We [the foundation board] will leave if that option is taken. It would be suicide to sell Valencia now. There are offers to buy, but nothing which reaches the level the club deserves.”

The 81 million euros ‘mortgage’ with publicly-controlled Bankia was originally planned as a way for the club to ensure it was not bought by outsiders, as Los Che fans, directors and local politicians were worried by the issues which have beset Racing Santander and Malaga after initially welcomed benefactors proved not to be as beneficial as hoped.

However, payments due on the sum have not been paid, with the various parties involved rowing over who is responsible, and judges making contradictory rulings on the subject.

It is currently unclear who actually has the right to sell Valencia, which owes around 400 million euros to various creditors, amid ongoing legal cases involving the club itself, the foundation, Bankia and the regional government.

Club president Amadeo Salvo was recently in China, Abu Dhabi and Dubai looking for new investors to help finance the completion of its currently half-built new stadium -- which would be a possible first step to regaining control of its own affairs.

Martinez says his advice was to wait until the club is on a stronger financial footing before selling.

“I would not sell all the club’s shares for less than 200 million euros, and as we have 70 percent of those, the asking price should be between 140 and 150 million euros,” he said. “I would never sell for less than that figure, because we will be able to increase the club’s revenues, and the price would then be higher.”

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