World famous American actor George Clooney is interested in buying Spanish second division club Malaga, report Diario AS.
The news follows on from the club being taken out of the hands of Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, who is reportedly seeking €100m to sell his shares in the Andalusian outfit.
Antonio Aguilera, president of the Association of Small Shareholders (APA), has said that “negotiations are ongoing” between the sellers and a media group linked to Clooney.
“There is a very important group of film and TV producers who are here in Malaga, who want to make Malaga the Hollywood of Europe, they are recording series here in Malaga for Amazon and it a great economic potential for which they are already negotiating,” Aguilera told Canal Malaga.
The Costa del Sol club are desperate for a speedy sale and this reports indicates the prospective buyers could turn the club into a 24-hour news channel, with a suggestion that it could be similar to the film ‘The Truman Show’ – quite an extraordinary suggestion.
A report in Cadena Cope last month claimed the club’s dire off-field situation may lead to them being automatically demoted in a similar manner as Reus were the previous year.
Malaga are also in the news this month as they have been taken to court by former boss Victor Sanchez Del Amo over the nature of his dismissal last month.
The club, who are above the drop zone by just two points, are in a financial mess with the club’s Qatari owner blamed for the situation with a lack of investment and series of poor sporting decisions made.
Al Thani has been removed from his position for six months on a series of charged including alleged illegal appropriation, unfair prejudice and improper management, with judicial administrator Jose Maria Munoz temporarily appointed in his place.
A €5.4m bond has also been placed upon Al Thani and his children, who are implicated in the alleged offences, and if this is not paid in the specified timeframe then the shares will be seized.
Al Thani purchased the Costa del Sol club in 2010 for a reported €36m and made a series of high-profile signings, with the high point seeing Malaga reach the 2013 Champions League quarter finals.
However, the club – who were relegated from La Liga in 2018 and are currently 14th in Segunda – have been plunged into several off-field crises since and it had been claimed that La Liga may force administration upon the Andalusian club and that would see them relegated from the Segunda.
A report in Marca last month outlined how the club’s owners have made several costly financial decisions.
A number of examples of mismanagement are cited – including the opportunity to buyback striker Youssef En-Nesyri from Leganes this summer.
It is claimed a €20m transfer to English side Brighton was in place and all Malaga needed to do was to utilise their €15m buyback on the player and make a €5m profit on the same day – but this option was refused, and the striker is now at Sevilla.
Another case was former player Jony, for whom they rejected offers from Alaves – where he was on loan – and Lazio, who had a pre-contract agreement in place for the following summer.
The Italian club offered to pay €2m to sign him a year in advance and Malaga refused but FIFA ruled that the player should be allowed to move to Rome – and the deal was completed without a transfer fee.
A number of other money-making opportunities have been missed: Augsburg had a €5m bid rejected for defender Diego González, who was not a regular in Malaga’s team, for instance.
As reported by Marca back in September, the financial crisis at the Andalusian club meant they needed a boost in finances in the region of €5-6m to carry on operating in the second tier beyond the new year – a scenario which was eventually averted.
Reus were automatically relegated from the second-tier last season, were banned from professional football for the next three years and been hit by a €250k fine.
Indeed, previous reports claimed that whilst the possibility of Reus being relegated last year stood at 100% due to the finances, the same chance of the Andalusian club going this year stands at 75%.
The report adds that even if Malaga manage to avoid being relegated by the authorities this season, it may be an even worse outcome ahead of next season.
It claims that in such an event, the Costa del Sol club will remain in the second tier but be banned from signing any new players while also seeing further slashes to their current budget.