Getafe president Angel Torres confirmed that a Dubai business
group took control of the Spanish club on Monday, three days after
he denied that it had been sold.
Torres said the Royal Emirates Group of Companies plans to
invest up to $130 million and lift the team’s budget by 40 percent
from its current ?45 million ($66 million) to help it finish
regularly in the top six and qualify for Europe.
”Since we want to be different and we don’t want to go into
debt, we went looking for investment,” Torres said from the club’s
stadium, Coliseum Alfonso Perez. ”So Royal Emirates is the new
team owner as of today since they bought out 99.3 percent.”
The group announced the acquisition of Getafe last Thursday with
Torres present at the news conference in Dubai. However, the club
president told reporters upon his return to Spain a day later that
it hadn’t been sold.
”You find yourself there during Easter holidays with all those
cameras and people showing no respect, I didn’t see why I had to
confirm anything,” said Torres, adding that he also wanted to wait
until after Monday’s stockholders meeting before commenting.
Torres denied that the team logo would change, but a partner and
managing director of the consortium later said a new emblem –
featuring the word ”Getafe” above ”Team Dubai” – would be sent
to the Spanish league for approval on Tuesday.
”When it’s legally allowed, it will go on right away,” Kaiser
Rafiq said from Dubai. ”We are very much confident (it will be
approved). It is the only place where we can put it on. We are
confident there is no problem with this. We have been assured by
our lawyers here and in Spain.”
Sheik Butti bin Suhail Al Maktoum, the chairman of the group,
has previously said that Team Dubai” would be added to the team
shirts, stadium and other merchandise.
Getafe is currently 14th out of 20 teams in the standings.
AP Sports Writer Michael Casey in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
contributed to this report.