Popular Ocean’s franchise movie star George Clooney is said to be in talks to bid for Spain’s Segunda Division club Malaga. The Hollywood star is a part of a group of American investors looking to take over the club and save it from its financial disarray. There are also plans to film a 24-hour documentary at the club.
The president of the Small Shareholders Association (APA) Antonio Aguilera had confirmed the interest of an American company interested in buying Malaga from Abdullah Al-Thani. It was reported the club owner is looking to sell his shares in the club for £86-100 million.
Aguilera released a statement saying, ”There is a powerful production company here in Málaga, they want to turn Málaga into the ‘European Hollywood’ and they are filming series here on the south coast for Amazon and are already negotiating with the club. However, they do not want to pay the crazy sum Al-Thani is asking for. A fortnight ago, he was asking 100 million euros for Málaga. What they are prepared to offer is much more than the amount he paid for the club (36 million euros) and talks are ongoing. On Friday, they called the Americans to say they were willing to negotiate.”
The American company should be successful in gaining control at the club given the current club owners’ willingness to open up to negotiations. However, before the sale can go through, the Al-Thani family would need to pay off their £5.5million judicial bond mandated by the court. This will ensure the removal of their management duties at the club.
The Al-Thani family also has a history of owing debts and running up their personal loans. The club has been hit with a number of penalties for financial mismanagement since their last Champions League run in 2013. During the 2013-14 season, the club was not allowed to feature in the Europa League due to a ban from UEFA for its debts.
The ban from Europa League saw a number of their stars such as Isco, Joaquin and Jeremy Toulalan being sold. The club’s manager at the time, Manuel Pellegrini also left. Since the ban the club’s decline continued, finally leading to the club being relegated after 10 consecutive seasons in La Liga.