BlueBay case ruling goes against Sheikh Al-Thani

Al-Thani (left) following the decision.
Al-Thani (left) following the decision. / Salvador Salas
  • Close to 97 per cent of shares in Malaga CF must now pass back to NAS Spain, a company jointly owned by the sheikh and the hotel group, with 51 and 49 per cent, respectively

On the dawn of the Málaga Club de Fútbol's final game of the Segunda season, the whole future of the club was put in the balance on Friday as a court in Malaga ruled in favour of hotel group BlueBay in their case against the club's president Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani.

The judge, Ramón Jiménez León, ruled that the ownership of almost 97 per cent of the club's shares, until now under the control of Al-Thani, be passed back to NAS Spain - a company jointly owned by the sheikh and the hotel group with 51 and 49 per cent, respectively, but which BlueBay manages.

This ruling comes after the hotel group demanded that the conditions of a contract, which they say was signed with the sheikh and his associates in 2013, be honoured.

The alleged signing of this deal occurred at a time when the club had amassed huge debt following its run in the Champions League and needed funds to rebuild the squad.

However, Al-Thani and his representatives argue that the group failed to comply with the conditions of the contract, thereby rendering it invalid.

The trial, which has been subjected to several delays, finally resumed in February and now a judgement has been reached.

Al-Thani and his legal team have 20 days to appeal the decision and are highly likely to do so. For their part, the BlueBay group have heralded the decision as a the start of a "new era" for the club.