Football: Business as usual at Valencia

Football: Business as usual at Valencia
(From left) Mr Koh Kim Huat, Valencia’s club president Amadeo Salvo, Mr Peter Lim and his wife Cherie, and Ms Chan Lay Hoon outside Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on 25 October 2014.
PHOTO: Lazaro De La Pena, Valencia CF

Valencia yesterday refuted reports that president Amadeo Salvo and some senior club officials have left because of differences with Singaporean owner Peter Lim.

At a press conference in Valencia yesterday morning (Singapore time), Salvo, 48, whose father is battling cancer, announced his resignation citing "personal and family reasons".

Director Manuel Peris, sporting manager Rufete and technical secretary Fabian Ayala, also quit the La Liga giants.

Reports in the Spanish media, however, insinuated that there was more to it than met the eye, suggesting that there were disagreements between Lim and the officials on the sporting front.

But Valencia chairman Chan Lay Hoon, who took over from Salvo with immediate effect, was quick to quash such talk.

In an e-mail reply to The New Paper's queries, she said: "There are different views on sporting matters. This is very common in every football club.

"There is no disagreement with Peter (Lim) as reported in the media.

"The technical team joined Valencia because of Amadeo (Salvo), who is leaving due to personal reasons and, with Amadeo's departure, they have also reached an agreement with the club to leave together...

"We understand Amadeo's reasons for returning to his family and family business during this difficult time and we respect his decision."

Asked about Valencia's sporting strategy, she added: "Our objectives remain focused on growing the club and competing at the highest level of European football."

Salvo, a lifelong Valencia fan, became the president of the then-debt-riddled club in June, 2013.

One of his primary tasks was to look for investors to prevent the club from sinking. In November, 2013, during one such trip to Asia, he met Lim, and the rest is history.

Lim took over as owner of the club last year, and his first season already produced a remarkable turnaround.

COVETED SPOT

Financially recharged, Los Che, as Valencia are known as, finished fourth in La Liga last season to clinch a coveted spot in the Champions League, along with champions Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who qualified after winning last season's Europa League.

When asked how the departures will affect the club, Chan said: "Valencia are an established football club.

"It is business as usual at the club.

"We believe that the club are above everyone and we will recover in no time."

No replacements for the other positions have been lined up, yet.

Chan said that the club will take their time to find the best people to fill the vacancies.

She said: "We are taking this opportunity to review the organisational structure to improve the reporting lines.

"Valencia, being a big club, are an attractive place for many sports and technical executives. We will take our time to consider all options carefully."

However, Chan, who has to juggle the roles of chairman and president for now, acknowledged that this will be a "challenging period" for her.

She said: "I have gained a good insight into Spanish football over the last couple of years.

"With the support of the local advisory board and management team, we will be able to tide over this period."


This article was first published on July 3, 2015.
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