Borja Gutiérrez / Jennie Rhodes
Tuesday, 30 January 2024
UD Torre del Mar football club has changed ownership. The Axarquía team, currently playing in the RFEF Third Division, is now wholly owned by a group of businessmen from Malaga, led by the economist and lawyer Daniel Pastor, who last summer founded CD Málaga 1903.
The Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD) has approved the purchase and sale of the shares held by the Paraguayan Francisco Ocampo, who bought the club just two years ago. UD Torre del Mar has been converted into a SAD (Sociedad Anónima Deportiva) The group led by Pastor hopes to develop the club into a semi-professional team and look for promotion to the Segunda RFEF. Last season they were knocked out by El Palo in the promotion play-offs and in the current season they are in second place in Group 9 of the Third RFEF, just six points away from the play-off list.
The deal was initially reported to have been concluded for 600,000 euros. However, both parties, consulted by this newspaper, have stated that this figure is exaggerated and that they have agreed a price slightly less than half of what was initially reported. The purchase has been made in two lots as the group bought 24.5 per cent of the club's shares two months ago and have just completed the deal to buy the remaining 75.5 per cent.
Gonzalo Ocampo, son of the previous owner, will continue as the team’s director for now. Speaking to SUR, Pastor explained that "the intention is to give continuity to the existing team because we have a lot of confidence in the coaches, players and the work done so far by the Ocampo family. The intention, if possible, is to strengthen the squad to fight for promotion".
Pastor went on to say, “What our project aims to do is to build a metropolitan axis to collaborate in the development of football in the province. In the capital we have C.D. Málaga 1903 and now in the Axarquía region we have Torre del Mar, and we don't rule out managing other clubs in the western part of the metropolitan area of Malaga.”
The Torre del Mar club has recently signed Álex Portillo, who is on a free transfer from Vélez-Málaga CF, which has seen the departure of a number of key players in recent weeks. Players, coaches and other club staff have not been paid for almost four months as the club has failed to seal deals with at least two foreign investors who have pulled out of agreements at the last minute, according to a statement published on social media last week.
In a press conference following Vélez-Málaga’s defeat on Sunday 28 January, when the team lost 0-2 to FC Cartagena B at home, Swedish coach Magnus Pehrsson said, “The interest so far has been big. There’s a lot of people contacting us, but we are in a critical situation. Every day is counting and we are losing players. Our work is to find solutions and money from new investors, or investors. And then we can only help that the local society, the council, the businesses, the people can see how important the club is. Everyone that could help, this is the time, this is the time.”
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