Getafe president on way to Dubai amid sale rumors

Getafe president Angel Torres traveled to Dubai on Wednesday

amid speculation the Spanish football club will be taken over by a

business group with ties to Dubai’s ruling family.

Torres headed to the Gulf city a day before the Royal Emirates

Group of Companies is scheduled to announce the purchase of a

topflight Spanish club.

Kaiser Rafiq, a partner and managing director of the business

conglomerate, said he would not ”rule out” that the company is

buying Getafe. He would only say that the deal is worth $90 million

and the club being bought finished in the top six of the league

last season. Getafe finished sixth.

The team’s name will remain unchanged but ”Team Dubai” would

be added to the players’ shirts, the stadium and other merchandise,

Rafiq said.

The Royal Emirates Group of Companies said Tuesday that it had

acquired an unidentified Spanish club and would make a formal

announcement Thursday.

The group is chaired by Sheikh Butti Bin Suhail Al Maktoum, a

member of Dubai’s ruling family.

Torres told Spanish sports daily MARCA that he had been invited

by the Dubai business group ”with the idea of having meetings to

look for sponsors that improve the image of Getafe and a new name

for the stadium.”

He also confirmed that Getafe captain Manuel del Moral was

accompanying him.

Rafiq said he is hoping the purchase raises the profile of

Dubai, which has long used sports as a publicity tool. Tiger Woods

and Roger Federer have visited the desert city to play in

tournaments and the world’s richest horse race is part of a

campaign to lure tourists to its glitzy shopping malls and

five-star hotels.