Singaporeans tapped to transform Spanish club La Murcia
Zainudin 'asked for advice' by consortium looking to form takeover bid
Following Peter Lim's acquisition of La Liga side Valencia, a consortium comprising two Singaporeans could take over another Spanish club, Real Murcia, in the future.
Murcia-based Spanish daily La Verdad reported in September that a group of Asian businessmen was poised to buy the third-tier outfit.
This group is reportedly represented by a Spanish businessman named Antonio Perea, the chief executive officer of the Pereabros Group, an investment firm based out of Dubai with interests in construction, energy, transport and sports marketing.
The report claimed Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin was involved, but he clarified with The New Paper last night that neither he, nor the FAS, was involved in the move.
Speaking on the sidelines of the S.League Awards Night at Marina Bay Sands, Zainudin said: "Last year, I was asked for advice by the Pereabros Group, who were looking for Singaporean expertise to form part of the bid for Real Murcia."
Zainudin referred Pereabros Group to Singaporeans Bambang Sugeng Kajairi, a consultant with a South Korean asset management firm, and Jeremy Chan, who was listed by La Verdad as an aeronautical engineer who has worked in Dubai.
Bambang was approached for his knowledge in real estate, while Chan was enlisted for his aviation expertise, as the consortium was keen to develop the region of Murcia both on and off the pitch.
TNP understands that negotiations are in the preliminary stages.
While Real Murcia are in the third tier of Spanish football, Zainudin said: "If there is a connection back to Singapore, there will be potential of a positive impact to local football."
Citing sources within the club, La Verdad reported in September that a group of Asian businessmen had made an offer to the club's current president, Jesus Samper, to buy his stake in the club.
It is unclear how much the offer is worth.
Real Murcia finished fourth in the second-tier Segunda Division in the 2013/14 season, but were relegated to the third division as they were unable to pay their debts to the Spanish tax authorities and failed to meet the debt-to-income ratio set by Spain's Professional Football League.
In an interview with Spanish television channel 7TV in September, Samper confirmed he was in negotiations to sell his stake in the club.
However, he said that he had been negotiating with only one person - Perea - and he does not know if Perea was representing anybody.
Real Murcia have played 18 seasons in the top flight, but have never finished in the top half of La Liga. They last featured in the top division in 2007/08 season, when they were relegated after finishing 19th.
Founded in 1908, Los Pimentoneros are currently top of the 20-team Group 4 of the Segunda Division B.
“Last year, I was asked for advice by the Pereabros Group, who were looking for Singaporean expertise to form part of the bid for Real Murcia.”
— FAS chief Zainudin Nordin