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Apr 4, 2013

Varona: Valencia not for sale

The newly-appointed head of Valencia's Fundacion del Valencia CF, Federico Varona, says the club is not for sale and he will work to find a way to manage their estimated €350 million debts and complete a new stadium.

Valencia are, in theory, owned by the Fundacion del Valencia CF - but in practice Spanish bank Bankia controls a majority shareholding.

It is a complicated situation, with the regional Valencian government thinking it was in charge after it guaranteed a club debt last year, only for a court to rule in favour of the recently bailed-out Bankia in March.

Knowing Los Che fans are puzzled and concerned about the future of their club, Varona tried to assuage fears when speaking to reporters on Thursday.

"We have just started with this and we are not going to sell the club," he told the EFE news agency.

"We want this to be for the socios [members] and shareholders. The sale of the club is not a project of this board.

"We are thinking about alternative formulas. We want to be as transparent as possible and allow socios to participate. The challenge is to deliver to valencianismo the leading role it deserves."

Many of Valencia's problems stem from the 2007 decision to build a new stadium before a buyer for the present ground had been found.

The Nou Mestella sits half-finished because the club cannot find the €150 million or so required to complete it, while a mortgage on the old Mestalla is a millstone around the club's neck.

Observers fear that first-team players including captain Roberto Soldado, Sofiane Feghouli, Adil Rami and Jeremy Mathieu could be sold in the summer to raise funds, but Varona - an accountant by trade - said the club was "viable" as it was.

"We want to renegotiate with Bankia and try and find solutions to finish the works at the new stadium," he said.

"Everyone knows the situation is difficult - there are a lot of zeros in the figures.

"We are looking for global solutions. The economic and financial solution will be the most important axis around which our work will turn, and the first problem we will take on.

"We all have the same goal - to make Valencia bigger and better."

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