Malaga has stated it is confident that its appeal against UEFA’s decision to impose a minimum one-season ban from European competition for infringing financial fair play (FFP) guidelines will prove successful, while it has again rejected rumours of a possible sale of the Qatari-owned club.
The Spanish Primera Division outfit in January confirmed it had lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against UEFA’s decision, which was applied in December. The ban does not apply for Malaga’s debut campaign in the Champions League, where it has been drawn to face Borussia Dortmund in the quarter finals, but will instead take effect for the next time the club qualifies for European competition over the next four seasons. UEFA said the ban will be extended for a further season unless Malaga proves it has settled outstanding payments to other teams, staff and tax authorities, while the club was also fined Eur300,000. Malaga’s director general Vicente Casado said the CAS hearing would likely take place on May 14 with a decision expected sometime in June. “We are very optimistic,” he told the club’s official website. “We have met with our obligations and we will prove it.”
Malaga was in August forced to deny speculation that owner Sheikh Abdullah al Thani had withdrawn his backing of the club by stating that the financial uncertainty surrounding the team was due to its attempts to comply with FFP regulations. Speculation has continued to surround Malaga’s financial position, with the latest rumours in the Spanish and French media linking Paris Saint-Germain’s owners, Qatar Sports Investments, with a move for the club. However, Casado said: “I can categorically deny any interest or offer by any other entity to purchase this club. It is completely untrue, and there is absolutely no reason to suggest otherwise. The owner is totally committed to Málaga CF. The investment is different, but the owner will continue to invest in the club. I’m very optimistic about the future of this entity. One of the owner’s representatives (Moayad Shatat) is here in his office every day, highlighting his continued interest in the club.”
Malaga currently sits sixth in the Primera Division table, two places and three points behind Real Sociedad in the final Champions League qualifying spot.