Controversial Valencia president denies share sale deal
Valencia soccer club will not be leaving the hands of the Soler family in the near future after Tuesday's reported share sale did not pan out, according to a statement issued yesterday by the club's second-biggest shareholder, Vicente Soriano.28 February 2008
MADRID - Valencia soccer club will not be leaving the hands of the Soler family in the near future after Tuesday's reported share sale did not pan out, according to a statement issued yesterday by the club's second-biggest shareholder, Vicente Soriano.
On Wednesday this newspaper reported that the Spanish businessman Juan Villalonga was to acquire club president Juan Soler's 40-percent stake in the club for EUR 66 million, and later sell half of those shares to Soriano, who was present at the alleged negotiations on Tuesday.
Soriano issued a statement yesterday saying that he withdrew his offer to buy Soler's stake after the president's father, Bautista Soler, issued "harsh declarations" denying any negotiations, calling Soriano "shameless" and "a liar."
"I decided to withdraw my offer to buy the shares that he - Bautista Soler - offered me in a meeting we had in his office in the middle of January," he said, claiming that the agreement was also "corroborated by his son [Juan] less than two weeks ago when he personally shared with me the detailed equity analysis of the club," he explained.
Soriano said that the "confusing," "after-the-fact" messages that he received from the Solers contributed to his decision to withdraw.
Villalonga, for his part, denied that talk of share sale happened at the Tuesday lunch where the four parties were present.
Under fierce criticism, Soler has been under pressure to resign after a series of poor results on the field and the controversial decision to sideline some of the team's leading players.
[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]