Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, during a rare visit to Malaga. Salvador Salas
Sheikh Al-Thani to be forced to give up half of his shares in Malaga CF

Sheikh Al-Thani to be forced to give up half of his shares in Malaga CF

Spain's Supreme Court has upheld the Malaga provincial court ruling which will allow the BlueBay hotel group back into the fold

Antonio Góngora


Sunday, 14 January 2024, 19:09

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In a potentially decisive turn of events, the Supreme Court in Spain has brought an end to the protracted 'BlueBay case' that has engulfed Malaga CF.

The hotel group has a long-standing claim that the ousted club president Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani reneged on an agreement to hand over 49 per cent of his shares in the club - and the local courts agreed.

However, the sheikh took this decision to the Supreme Court and that, too, has now gone against him.

According to information obtained by SUR, after a two-year wait, the Supreme Court has opted to "dismiss the appeal for cassation", citing a "manifest lack of foundation" and the absence of any procedural infringement.

In a concise three-page decree, it explicitly states that the decisions from the lower court, and subsequently the Provincial Court of Malaga, will stand and that there is no avenue for further appeal.

New ownership structure

At present, almost 97 per cent of the club's shares belong to NAS Spain 2000. According to this ruling, Al-Thani must now revert to holding 51 per cent of this company, and BlueBay 49 per cent.

Of the remaining three per cent of the club, approximately 0.9 per cent is attributed to the sheikh through NAS Football (although a police report claimed that some of these shares were acquired using club funds) and the remaining ownership lies with small shareholders.

This new shift in dynamic would mean that the sheikh emerges as the primary stakeholder (holding around 50.3 per cent of the shares, including those from NAS Football), while BlueBay would retain approximately 47.4 per cent.

In the day-to-day running of the club, this is unlikely to change anything in the short term because, meanwhile, there are also criminal proceedings pending (which have meant the club has been in administration for the last three years) to determine what crimes, if any, the Al-Thani family are guilty of, including money laundering and misappropriation of club funds.

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