Dubai group buys Spanish club Getafe for $129m
Royal Emirates Group will buy La Liga club Getafe for about 90 million euros ($129.6 million), the Dubai firm said on Wednesday following earlier reports it was eyeing a Spanish soccer team.
"It is Getafe... we will announce it in a big way tomorrow," Suleiman Al Butti, project manager of Royal Emirates Group, said.
Royal Emirates, an investment firm chaired by Sheikh Butti Bin Suhail Al Maktoum, said in statement on Tuesday the club would be named "Team Dubai", although it was not clear whether that would become the team's official name.
The deal would be the third for a La Liga club involving a non-Spanish buyer in the past year following the sale of Malaga to a member of the Qatari royal family and the purchase of Racing Santander by an Indian businessman.
Getafe president Angel Torres was quoted in Spanish media on Wednesday as saying a deal had not been finalised. He said he planned to travel to Dubai on Thursday to seek sponsorship.
"I have not sold the club to anyone," Torres told sports daily Marca. He added that he was heading to Dubai "only to look for solutions for next season".
"They have invited me to a presentation which this company (Royal Emirates Group) sponsors and I am going with the idea of holding meetings to find sponsors, who will improve Getafe's image, as well as a new name for the stadium."
Royal Emirates Group said on Tuesday Dubai's minister of culture, the Spanish ambassador and "many other corporate icons and members of the ruling family of Dubai" would attend an event scheduled on Thursday to announce the deal.
Getafe are 14th in La Liga with 37 points from 32 games and hovering just above the relegation zone.
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