Ex Valencia president jailed for kidnap attempt on successor

Former Valencia president Juan Bautista Soler has been jailed for two years for attempting to kidnap his successor.

Soler was chief of Los Che between 2004 and 2008 with this charge relating to an incident in March 2014 when he and four others were accused and found guilty of attempting to kidnap Vicente Soriano.

Soler sold his 70,889 shares in the club to Soriano in 2008 worth a total of €85m, which was due to be paid across four separate instalments.

The kidnapping plan was supposedly in place to force Soriano to settle his outstanding debt to Soler, but the plan was foiled as police got wind of the plans and those involved were all arrested and charged in April 2014.

“The Valencia provincial court has found four people guilty, including a renowned businessman who presided over Valencia CF, for planning to kidnap and rob another businessman that also presided over the club between 2013 and 2014,” read a Valencia statement.

“The court considers all of them responsible for a crime of attempted kidnapping and attempted violent robbery. The court has handed the former Valencia CF president a two-year prison sentence, one [year] per each crime.”

Soriano was at the helm of Valencia for one year but his attempts to sell investment group Dalport were foiled by the Valencia regional government, who were unconvinced by their credentials.

As outlined by El Mundo, the Spanish High Court ruled in February 2013 that Soriano and Dalport had to pay Soler €39m for breach of contract as Soriano had refused to pay Soler for the sale.