Getafe president confirms sale to Dubai group

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.