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Vélez-Málaga CF players during a recent home game at the Vivar Téllez ground. Jennie Rhodes
Costa del Sol football club ‘urgently’ seeks investors
Football

Costa del Sol football club ‘urgently’ seeks investors

Some players at Vélez-Málaga CF, who play in the Segunda RFEF league, have begun to leave after not being paid for almost four months

Sunday, 28 January 2024

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Vélez-Málaga CF have posted an update on their social media about the “urgent” need to find new investors after a series of failed negotiations has led to players leaving after not being paid for almost four months. Around 45 people including players, coaching staff and club personnel have not been paid, as this newspaper has been reporting in recent weeks.

Up until Wednesday 24 January, the only person at the football club who had spoken out about the situation was Magnus Pehrsson, the club’s coach, vice-president and also one of the owners. The Swedish coach said the club, which is in the Segunda RFEF league, was looking for investors and hoped to solve the problem soon.

The last opportunity ended earlier this week, when a possible investor pulled out at the last minute, according to a statement posted on the club’s social media on Thursday 25 January.

Difficult situation

The statement said, "We entered the 2023/24 season with very high ambitions, with a strong squad and a solid coaching staff. Most importantly, we started the season with a new French investor, with whom we signed on 2 August. The clear vision of the new investors was to be promoted this season. Based on the budget he gave us, we planned the season, squad and structure to be able to achieve the objective.

"The French investor did not honour the agreement, and after three months of many promises of payments, the money never came into the club. From August until the end of October we had to find different ways to pay the players and staff salaries and cover other expenses, lending private money to the club and finding different solutions to manage the already difficult situation. This was totally opposite to what we had built the previous three years, always paying on time and being 100 per cent reliable in everything we do and promise.

"Since the end of October our main focus has been to find a new serious investor with a shared long-term vision for the club, creating value for the people and businesses of the Axarquía. We had many meetings and conversations with several different investors during the months leading up to Christmas but were unable to sign a deal."

Agreement suddenly cancelled

The statement continued: "With great effort, finally during the last month we worked closely and reached an agreement with a foreign investment group to be the new majority owner of the club and continue and improve the work together with us for four more years. Unexpectedly yesterday the agreement was suddenly cancelled.

"For the last three and a half years we have done our best for Velez C.F., where we have invested all our time, money, energy, passion and we have really given everything to build a professional and successful football club. What happened yesterday has put us in a very difficult situation where we urgently need to find other investors or owners to solve the situation of the club. Until then we will continue to work.”

As well as local Spanish fans, the team have a strong following among the town's large foreign community who regularly attend games, with many being season ticket holders.

The next matches are going ahead this Sunday 28 January at the town’s Vivar Téllez stadium, when the men’s team play FC Cartegena “B”. Kick-off is at 4pm. The women’s team play Atlético Portada Alta at 7pm, also at the Vivar Téllez stadium.

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