After prospective new Qatari investors failed to convince Malaga's owner Sheikh Abdullah ben Al-Thani to part with his shares in the club, Malaga city council, as well as the provincial and regional government, are backing another attempt to get rid of Al-Thani: a criminal case by the club's Association of Minority Shareholders.
Al-Thani's intransigence has been evident for some time, but on Tuesday, the hotel group BlueBay, who are due 49 per cent of the sheikh's initial shares in the club according to a recent court ruling, said that the owner's unwillingness to negotiate meant that the prospective Qatari takeover, which would involve BlueBay being bought out as well, was no longer viable. The stalling of negotiations ultimately led to the current focus on the minorityshareholders' case.
This case accuses the sheikh of improper management of the club and misappropriation of funds. The case calls for an injunction against Al-Thani, removing him from the running of the club, and recommends an emergency judicial administration.
Following a meeting at the city hall on Sunday, the local, provincial and regional governments became set on involving themselves in the case on the side of the prosecution. They intend to name lawyers soon who will bring evidence to bolster the minority shareholders' case.