Sheikh: I’m still in charge at Malaga

Malaga owner Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani has reiterated to boss Manuel Pellegrini that he is still in charge of the club.

According to Diario Sur Malaga, the Sheikh personally called the Chilean after Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League qualifier defeat of Panathinaikos to ask for calm, stressing that he continues to be at the helm at La Rosaleda.

The Qatari put the Costa del Sol club up for sale during the summer, causing the departures of key players Santi Cazorla, Jose Salomon Rondon and Joris Mathijsen in order to pay debts.

However, Al-Thani has now decided to give more power to the Chilean following the decision to dispense with the services of director of football Antonio Fernandez, replacing him with former Malaga player Mario Husillos.

Club officials believe the Sheikh’s telephone call assumes enormous importance for the beleaguered club, given he has remained in the background for the past two months and his right-hand man, Abdullah Ghubn, has also disappeared from the scene.

Al-Thani believes Pellegrini is a key figure in whatever future plans he may have for Los Blanquiazules, as it is understood the Coach was instrumental in persuading players not to submit complaints to the League over unpaid wages.

The newspaper also understands that the conversation between the pair was cordial and that the Sheikh was eager to respond to any doubts Pellegrini may have had, above all concerning the players’ futures and the club’s project.

It is believed Al-Thani intends to pay off any other debts accumulated last season and start a restructuring process at the end of the 2012-13 campaign without as many overheads.

Tags Pellegrini Sheikh Al-Thani