Manuel Llorente has reassured supporters that Valencia will not lose ownership of Mestalla this December, despite recent developments.
The club had announced a few weeks ago that they would be recommencing with work on developing Nou Mestalla in the coming months, after agreeing a deal with NewCoval, a company owned 50 per cent by Bankia and 50 per cent by a Valencian developer.
That deal saw Llorente agree to the sale of a number of assets including current ground Mestalla and the Ciudad Deportiva de Paterna training complex, in exchange for a €170m loan needed to restart work on Nou Mestalla, which has otherwise stalled since February 2009.
However, reports in recent days have seen Bankia distance themselves from NewCoval, putting doubt on the viability of Llorente’s deal to raise finances for the new ground.
It also puts doubt on the club’s ownership of their current Mestalla home. This was put up as security by the club against an accumulated loan from Bankia’s subsidiary banks of €245m.
The loan was originally due to mature in June, but Llorente earned a six-month reprieve with Bankia based on the deal with NewCoval getting started and the club being able to show that they could honour more than just the €15m interest payments to Bankia.
However, Bankia’s decision to pull out of NewCoval has put doubts on the Nou Mestalla once more and has raised the suggestion that the club could be in trouble come December, when the €245m debt to the banks is set to mature again.
“Recent events do not affect the foundations of this club,” reassured the President today in a message to supporters, though.
“We continue to work with Bankia to find solutions and the objective is still to start and finish the new stadium.
“What worries me is the game on Sunday at noon in Mallorca.”
Llorente says that he is working ‘hand in hand’ with Bankia at this time to refinance the debt once more and that the club are not going to be in a position where they ‘cannot afford to pay’.
Without the sale of the stadium and training ground to NewCoval, the club are speculated as likely to continue their recent trend to raise funds to finance their debts by selling players.
Recent years have seen the debt, which was €550m upon Llorente’s arrival, fall thanks in the majority to €190m worth of player sales.
“I’m envious to see David Silva at Manchester City, Jordi Alba at Barcelona, Juan Mata at Chelsea…but the reality is just that,” Llorente continued today.
“Valencia had a reality and it is still going to cost us a lot to get out of this reality and we are still going to have to sell players, but but luckily we still have players to sell because there is a job well done by those at the club.
“In the week from August 22 to August 30, we could have carried out operations for €50m in the sale of players, but we did not, because we must also continue to compete and play in the Champions League.”