‘Good night’ and like Keyser Söze, he was gone, leaving a club high and dry.
First Sheikh Abdullash Bin Nasser Al-Thani tried to sell Malaga. And then he just bailed, leaving Coach Manuel Pellegrini and others to pick up the pieces. Several players were sold, but the team has risen like a phoenix from the flames. And now the owner has reappeared and, is making promises again. But will fans believe him this time round?
In July, stories in the Spanish Press about club debts drew strong comments from Al-Thani on Twitter. He slammed the unfair distribution of broadcasting revenue, and the lack of competition in La Liga.
“I am waiting for the media and free press, the honourable and the Spanish Federation to respond to these things.”
Very soon they were responding, and they started to look at Malaga, prompting the man known as ‘El Jeque’ to rage that the press and the League were biased. ‘A campaign to discredit Malaga and our reputation because we are Arab investors,’ was at work, he claimed. A few days later he used Twitter for the last time and then disappeared, leaving the club in turmoil.
Thankfully they survived, due to Pellegrini creating a team spirit of such togetherness that has not been seen since Alexandre Dumas wrote The Three Musketeers. The Anchovies are third in the League and managing to juggle their debut Champions League campaign as well. It was announced before the big tie against Milan on Wednesday that the owner would be present.
Still many questions were left to be answered. Fans were divided. Some were angry saying they had been abandoned, whilst others said that the Spanish Press had gone against the club and exaggerated the whole situation. One thing they all agreed on though, was that the important thing was what took place on the pitch, not the subplot sitting in the presidential box.
Around half past ten local time Joaquin and co were walking off, the winger's goal having give Pellegrini's side another famous victory and fired them further clear at the top of group C.
The Chilean praised his men, and whilst he acknowledged the bosses presence, admitting Al-Thani had been in the dressing room, he was keen to draw the attention of the press to his players efforts. El Jeque was not keeping a low profile though.
“I want to congratulate the fans, the players, the Coach and everyone else who saw this game” he stated, before adding that the spending of big bucks may be about to recommence.
“We have invested and we will continue to do so. Of course there is a future.”
Whether fans will believe him this time is another thing. Right now most are still celebrating their historic win and after what they went through this summer, why shouldn't they.