Qatari former owner, family owe $10 mln to Malaga FC: Spanish court

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The former Qatari owner of Malaga FC and his family owe the Spanish football club a total of $10.05 mln (8.5 mln euros), according to court documents. The Qatari family is also accused of illegally taking additional funds from the club for personal use.

Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani was ousted as president and owner of Malaga FC for six months in February due to a series of charges against the Qatari royal and his family of alleged misappropriation of funds.


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New details of the ongoing court case were first reported by Spanish national daily sports newspaper Marca following a report earlier in March that showed the family owed the club a total 7.3 mln euros in loans and credit lines.

An additional 1.2 mln euros were added to the total money owed back to the club, according to the latest court documents.

Sheikh Abdullah al Thani, new chairman of Spanish soccer club Malaga, wears a Malaga scarf during an interview in Doha December 9, 2010.  (Reuters)
Sheikh Abdullah al Thani, new chairman of Spanish soccer club Malaga, wears a Malaga scarf during an interview in Doha December 9, 2010. (Reuters)

Charges levied against al-Thani and his family members alleged that they used club funds to purchase and sell high-end vehicles, the acquisition of real estate, and other private investments, according to Marca.

“A huge income stream was lost with the club’s relegation from La Liga in 2018 with an estimated €43m being lost from audiovisual rights alone, but the family are said to have continued to pump money out of the club through loans into their own personal accounts,” read a report by the Football Espana sports website.

After his suspension in February, a Spanish regional court placed a 5.4 mln bond on al-Thani along with his children who are implicated in the alleged offenses.

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Al-Thani purchased Malaga in June 2010 for a reported 36 million euros, ploughing money into the club to pay for a series of big-name signings including Ruud van Nistelrooy, Santi Cazorla, Isco, and Julio Baptista.

The signings helped the club finish fourth in La Liga in 2012 and qualify for the Champions League for the first time.

They were forced to sell many of their top players shortly after the season ended due to financial difficulties but still reached the quarter-finals of Europe’s top competition, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund.

Malaga were relegated in 2018 and are currently 21 in Spain’s second division.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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