Valencia president Amadeo Salvo says that the club’s bankers cannot force it to be sold against the will of its directors and fans.
Nobody is quite sure who currently owns the heavily indebted La Liga outfit, with the club’s 'foundation', bailed-out lender Bankia and the local 'Generalitat' government all having a stake after years of new loans, guarantees given and various recovery plans.
Salvo told the club’s AGM on Tuesday that Valencia should only be sold to new owners who had a real plan for a sporting 'project' which would be acceptable to everyone involved.
"Bankia is not going to sell Valencia today, I repeat that," he said. "If someone comes to buy Valencia it will be here, in front of the shareholders, and they will do it presenting a sporting project. Until a judge says different, we own this club. I have always said that we must accept that the club could be bought with 250 million euros."
Valencia [the club] owes about 350 million euros to various creditors, with Bankia -- which has received emergency funding from the European Union and Spanish government in recent years -- owed about 200 million directly. The bank is also owed another 86 million from the 'foundation', which in theory holds a majority shareholding in the football club.
Bankia should be reasonable and allow for a refinancing of these debts to allow time for the club to get back on its feet, Salvo said.
"If they do not allow us to refinance, they strangle us," he said. "Maybe the club has a debt, but we can clean it up and we need time to do that. Not time for this board, but for the club. I still believe these things can be sorted out."
Bankia issued a press release on the day of the AGM suggesting it had little faith in the club’s 'sustainability' plans and wanted to bring in new 'investors' to speed things along.
"The search for investors which would permit a good sporting social and economic project is the most viable path for the Foundation," the statement said. "Bankia has received no sustainable plan to move towards a refinancing of the loan."
Detailed accounts compiled by Cadena Ser radio station showed that the club’s debt has fallen from over 550 million euros to about 350 million euros in the last five years [as players such as David Villa, David Silva, Juan Mata, Jordi Alba and Roberto Soldado have been sold].
Meanwhile its revenues have fallen from 158 million euros to 118 million euros in the last four seasons, with money from ticket sales falling by more than half during that period. The club have also had to deal with the consequences of not playing Champions League football this season.
It now also needs about 200 million to finish its half-built 'New Mestalla' ground, although once the new stadium is ready it could then [maybe] raise significant money by selling its current city-centre Mestalla home.