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Jan 16, 2014

Valencia: Sale must be right for club

Valencia foundation president Aurelio Martinez says he would try to veto any sale of the club that saw its bankers get their money but left the team without a viable plan for the future.

Peter Lim has previously failed in attempts to buy Liverpool, Rangers and Atletico Madrid.
Peter Lim appears to be the frontrunner to take over Valencia.

The club is currently up for sale, with lender Bankia now analysing offers that arrived before Wednesday’s deadline for potential buyers to come forward.

AS reports that Singapore businessman Peter Lim, previously the only prospective new owner to go public, has competition from a number of other bidders including U.S. investment fund TPG, and groups based out of London and Saudi Arabia. The various stakeholders involved -- and consultants KPMG -- will now take their time to choose best option.

Martinez -- who heads the Valencia foundation, which on paper controls 70 percent of the club’s shares but in reality has to bow to Bankia due to Valencia’s debts of about 400 million euros -- told Superdeporte he would have a duty to take a stand against any deal that did not suit the team.

“The foundation understands that its duty to valencianismo is to watch the process, to see that the offer includes sporting as well as financial parts, that it is not just about returning the money Bankia is owed but will consider other areas for the future including the foundation, the academy, investments in sporting side, the completion of the stadium,” Martinez said.

“These are key elements to guarantee the competitive level and quality that the socios and valencianistas demand. If the outcome does not fit with these interests of the foundation then we will publicly argue against it.”

Lim had previously said he would withdraw if his offer was not immediately accepted, but now appears to be willing to wait on a decision. The successful investor, who was reportedly alerted to the possibility of buying Valencia by Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, has said he would spend 50 million euros in the current transfer window, with Mendes clients including Monaco centre-forward Radamel Falcao, Porto striker Jackson Martinez and Manchester United winger Nani leaked as potential likely targets.

The foundation chief said he was impressed by Lim’s plans, but wanted to consider other, potentially better, offers before any decision was made.

“[Lim] seems to me sensible and appreciated, not so much for his offer but because of his CV -- he is not an unknown person in the world of football,” Martinez said. “All who know him speak well of him. He has involvements in foundations and sponsorships of significant value, he has invested in motor-racing.

“But this must be done objectively with everything put in writing. We must see the other offers -- maybe there are better ones, I don’t know. I am convinced that there will be many surprises.”

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