Málaga CF had their best ever finish last season as the club from the Costa del Sol finished fourth in the Spanish La Liga to reach the UEFA Champions League play-offs. But all is not well for the club. Their Qatari owner Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Thani has lost interest in the club and suddenly all the work of the last couple of years could simply collapse. It all started in June 2010 when Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani bought the shares of Lorenzo Sanz, a former president of Real Madrid. The arrival of the Qatari investors ushered a new era for Malaga with Al-Thani’s aim being to challenge Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in the years to come.
The club from Andalusia brought in high profile players like Ruud van Nistelrooy, Santi Cazorla, Martin Demichelis, Jeremy Toulalan and Joris Mathijsen along with a high profile coach in Chilean Manuel Pellegrini. The Qatari owners spent more then 150 Million Euros on the club.
The plans seemed to work as last season, the club finished fourth in La Liga, but now Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani has lost interest in the club and for months no payments have been received by the club, players have not been paid their salaries, former Spain captain Fernando Hierro resigned as manager. The new situation stalled Malaga’s further push to close the gap on the Spanish giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
The club has started selling their stars. Venezuelan striker José Salomón Rondón has been sold for 9 Million Euros to Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan, while Spanish international Santi Cazorla could move for more then 20 Million Euros to English Premiership club FC Arsenal.
Malaga is simply fighting for survival. Without outside cash from a new investor, the chances of staying in La Liga are difficult due to the financial problems in Spain and the unfair TV rights distribution in Spanish football. The search is on but the bad experiences with the Qataris will make Malaga CF careful in choosing a new foreign investor.
Published with permission from Arunava about Football.