surinenglish

Malaga's future still up in the air as Caminero and Jofre get the sack

From left to right: Juan rodríguez, Joaquín Jofre and José Luis Caminero.
From left to right: Juan rodríguez, Joaquín Jofre and José Luis Caminero. / Germán Pozo
  • City mayor Francisco De la Torre urges BlueBay to respond to Qatari investors' offer, while Richard Shaheen sacks sporting director and legal advisor

The afterglow of Malaga's victory over Deportivo on Sunday was somewhat short-lived, as internal events served as an immediate reminder that the club is still in a deep institutional crisis.

At 7am on Monday, Malaga announced that they had parted ways with their sporting director José Luis Pérez Caminero, in what was the first major decision taken by Sheikh Al-Thani's new American advisor, Richard Shaheen. The decision was far from unexpected - Caminero's relationship with the Sheikh was strained to say the least, with the pair having clashed over several signings, including Al-Thani's personal pick Youssef Takioullah, whose deadline-day arrival in the summer of 2018 limited funds for other transfer operations.

Caminero's relationship with the coach, Víctor, was also negatively affected by disagreements over transfers. Also resigning voluntarily this week after the sacking was Juan Rodríguez, Caminero's right-hand man.

It was not long before another club official had to say his goodbyes, however, with the sheikh's patience with Joaquín Jofre running out the following day. A legal advisor, Jofre had worked in many roles during his seven years at the club, most recently overseeing day-to-day operations until the arrival of Shaheen. His relationship with the controversial Al-Thani frayed in part because of his suggestion that the club's dire financial situation might improve if the owner and his sons accepted a pay cut.

Meanwhile, the sheikh is, as was expected, appealing a June court ruling ordering him to hand over 49 per cent of the shares he owned in 2013 to the hotel group BlueBay, when an agreement was made between the two parties regarding the management of the club.

Regarding the recent offer made by a Qatari investment group, Al-Thani insisted that he wouldn't even consider selling one percent of the club. He also criticised fans who had protested against his ownership, saying that "If they want to support the team, they should do it right and get behind the president."

BlueBay themselves are hesitant, despite the calls of Francisco de la Torre, Malaga's mayor, for them to accept the offer. The initial deadline the Qatari investors gave for a response has passed, but BlueBay insist they want more details regarding the investors' identity and plan, arguing that a repeat of the Al-Thani situation must be avoided at all costs.