Removed Qatari president of Malaga C.F. owes club $10m: Court papers

Sheikh Abdallah Al-Thani (L) at the Rosaleda stadium in Malaga, on March 8, 2017. (File/AFP)
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Updated 18 September 2020

Removed Qatari president of Malaga C.F. owes club $10m: Court papers

  • Al-Thani was temporarily removed by a judge on Feb. 19
  • He bought the C.F. in 2010

MALAGA: Qatari businessman Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, who was removed as president of Spanish football club Malaga on charges including the alleged misappropriation of funds, owes the club 8.5 million euros ($10.07 million), court papers have revealed.

Al-Thani, who bought Malaga C.F. in 2010, was temporarily removed by a judge on Feb. 19 and judicial administrator Jose Maria Munoz has been running the business since.

Spanish court documents relating to the ongoing case, claim that Al-Thani and his family took additional money out of the club during their ownership for their personal use.

On Tuesday, a judge placed an 8 million-euro bond on him after the Association of Small Shareholders of Malaga C.F. (APA) requested bail be increased from 5.4 million to 11.7 million euros.

When Al-Thani took over the club, the team was playing in Spain’s top-flight La Liga after winning promotion in the 2008/2009 season. However, financial difficulties led to the club selling a number of key players and in 2018 the team was relegated to the second tier of Spanish football.

The APA filed a complaint against Al-Thani for “improper management, misappropriation of funds, and imposition of abusive corporate agreements.”

Al-Thani and his sons Nasser, Nayef, and Rakkan were dismissed from their roles as president and members of the board of directors, respectively, and were given five days to lodge an appeal against the ruling. But a court in Malaga rejected their appeal to end Munoz’s judicial administration.

Munoz has been managing the day-to-day running of the club, but still has to run any major decisions by the judge first.

On Jan. 22, Spanish authorities seized computers and documents during a search at Malaga’s La Rosaleda stadium. The APA requested the immediate seizure of Al-Thani’s assets, but its application was turned down by the court on the grounds that such a move would be premature.

Antonio Aguilar, the APA’s president, told Arab News that the group “only wants justice to be done. Malaga C.F. has 3,000 shareholders and this man (Al-Thani) cannot do what he wants.”

Al-Thani has continued to issue statements through his lawyers relating to the case and responding to allegations made by APA members.

“He hired an advertising agency, and in Malaga people are getting more and more indignant with the statements,” said Aguilar.

The club’s fans are also outraged, and Aguilar added: “He (Al-Thani) left the club on the verge of disappearance. If the judge had not intervened, appointing a judicial administrator, Malaga C.F. would have disappeared on April 30.”


Newspaper apologizes for racist comment about Barça’s Fati

Updated 22 October 2020

Newspaper apologizes for racist comment about Barça’s Fati

  • ABC journalist Salvador Sostres wrote that ‘Ansu when running has something of a gazelle, or a very young, black street vendor running’ away from police
  • Teammate Antoine Griezmann: ‘Ansu is an exceptional young man who deserves the same respect as any human being — no to racism and no to bad manners’

BARCELONA, Spain: Barcelona player Ansu Fati received an apology in a Spanish newspaper on Thursday for being profiled racially by one of its journalists.
ABC journalist Salvador Sostres wrote of Barcelona’s win over Ferencvaros on Tuesday that “Ansu when running has something of a gazelle, or a very young, black street vendor running” away from police.
Teammate Antoine Griezmann was one of many readers who denounced the description by Sostres in a message on Twitter: “Ansu is an exceptional young man who deserves the same respect as any human being. No to racism and no to bad manners.”
ABC published an apology by Sostres on Thursday.
“My intention was to praise the beauty of Ansu’s movement and his talent as a very young player,” Sostres wrote. “Some expressions were understood as racist insults. Nothing was further from my intention, nor the very favorable opinion of the player that I have expressed in all the match reports I have written since his debut. I deeply lament the misunderstanding and I ask forgiveness if anyone has felt offended.”
Fati, who is Black, was born in Guinea Bissau and immigrated with his family to Spain when he was six years old. Now 17, he is one of Barcelona’s most promising players.
Barcelona says it was planning to sue the newspaper and journalist, but after Sostres’ apology it is reconsidering what course to take.