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No transfer activity likely as Malaga continue to pay the price for past mismanagement

Caminero and Víctor were sacked without an agreement in place.
Caminero and Víctor were sacked without an agreement in place. / Salvador Salas
  • The club is still paying for the dismissals of Víctor, Caminero and Muñiz - as well as a coach who never actually arrived

The January transfer window may be open, but Malaga almost certainly won't be doing any business this month as judicial administrator José María Muñoz struggles to get to grips with the club's debts.

While the current wage bill is within La Liga's limits and the club has secured a five-million-euro loan to remain solvent, various debts which have arisen from past mismanagement continue to be problematic in the current day.

While several problems date back to the early years of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani's tenure as majority owner and president, some of the most pertinent are from more recently, while the club was already in Segunda. For example, at one moment, the club was paying the wages of three coaches at once: Víctor Sánchez del Amo, Juan Muñiz and Lucas Alcaraz. The latter didn't even coach the team - the sheikh didn't approve of the choice of coach but the contract had already been signed.

In the case of the first two, settlements were not reached before they were dismissed. This mistake was also repeated in the case of sporting director José Luis Pérez Caminero and acting general director Joaquín Jofre. As their settlements were not resolved in a quick and amicable fashion, the process was protracted and in some cases had to go through the courts. Consequently, the end result was much more expensive.

The sum to be paid to Muñiz, Víctor (and his staff), Alcaraz and Caminero is around two million euros - more than 15 per cent of the club's annual budget.

In the case of Richard Shaheen, the man charged with running the club at the moment of the intervention of the courts, an agreement was also later reached and came at a cost of around 100,000 euros.

Another debt to come through the courts is a further 1.3 million euros in unpaid agents' fees.

Playing staff

When Malaga were relegated from La Liga in 2018, many of the playing staff didn't have clauses written into their contracts which reduced their wages in the event of relegation. This meant the squad's wage bill was enormous. However, the club's strategy was to push for immediate promotion so many of the players stayed on. Some even stayed on during the following season until the club went into administration. As buyers couldn't be found for these players by now on inflated wages, the club eventually released eight as part of an ERE collective dismissal - also at a great cost.

As a result, administrator Muñoz's job now centres on managing all these debts, renegotiating terms and rescheduling for the payments to ensure that the team can progress on the field in the short term, while safeguarding the club's future in the long term.