Malaga director general Vicente Casado has stated he expects the club’s ban from UEFA competitions to be lifted as it can now demonstrate that it is operating under a sustainable business model.
UEFA last month moved to ban the Spanish Primera Division club from future European competition for at least a season for flouting its financial fair play (FFP) regulations. However, Casado said the judgement, which included a Eur300,000 fine, was based on out-of-date information and the club’s finances are now in order. “Malaga currently has no due debts,” he told the Marca newspaper. “That is very important. There is long term debt, like any team, which we must pay within two years. These are relatively small, due to other clubs. We have an agreement with the taxman, for a sum of less than Eur10 million, which is small in the world of football. The players went on holidays with their wages all paid up to date.” Casado added: “They have told us the punishment but they have not yet sent us the details. That is like being put in jail without knowing the reason. We hope to have them by the middle of January.”
Malaga’s billionaire Qatari owner Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani invested around Eur190 million in his first two years in charge, but has since scaled back his input leading to numerous reports in recent months questioning the club’s financial status. However, Casado claims that restructuring efforts have enhanced Malaga’s financial standing. “Last Saturday we had the AGM and presented a surplus for this season of Eur5 million,” he said. “That is thanks to the success on the field in the Champions League, the sale of players, a rise in TV revenues and a rise in season ticket revenue. That means this year we will be on the right line.”
Casado continued: “We are not against financial fair play. It seems to us a very good instrument of economic control for clubs. We are totally in favour, we want to be an example of financial fair play and since last summer we have been working on that. We have changed from being a club where there has been a lot of investment to a club which looks for a financial balance.” Casado added that he hoped an agreement could be reached with local authorities on the club’s stadium in a bid to further bolster Malaga’s position. “That is one way they could help us,” he said. “To be able to buy La Rosaleda at a symbolic price, with payment facilities, for us would be a way to continue building a solid base for the future.”