FAS president not buying Spanish club Real Murcia
Could more Singaporeans be looking to buy into Spanish football clubs?
Following Peter Lim's 2014 acquisition and subsequent success with La Liga side Valencia, a consortium which includes two Singaporeans could take over Spanish side Real Murcia.
Initial reports had led to speculation of a third Singaporean's involvement.
Spanish daily La Verdad, based in Murcia, reported in September that a group of Asian businessmen, led by Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Mr Zainudin Nordin, was poised to buy the third-tier outfit.
This group is reportedly represented by Spanish businessman, Mr Antonio Perea.
Mr Perea is chief executive officer of the Pereabros Group, an investment firm based in Dubai with interests in construction, energy, transport and sports marketing.
However, Mr Zainudin told The New Paper (TNP) at the S.League Awards on Monday (Nov 30) that while he "was asked for advice", he is not part of the consortium, nor is FAS involved in the move.
He 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."
Mr Zainudin referred Pereabros to two Singaporeans — Mr Bambang Sugeng Kajairi and Mr Jeremy Chan.
Mr Bambang is a consultant with a South Korean asset management firm and a former council member of FAS who stepped this year. Mr Chan is an aeronautical engineer who has worked in Dubai.
Mr Zainudin said that he recommended Mr Bambang for his knowledge of real estate and Mr Chan for his aviation expertise.
This is because the consortium is keen to develop not just the football club but the region of Murcia too.
TNP understands that negotiations are still in the preliminary stages and that the last communication the Singaporeans had with Mr Perea was a few weeks ago.
Mr Zainudin said of the deal: "If there is a connection back to Singapore, there will be potential of a positive impact to local football."
Citing sources within Real Murcia, La Verdad's September report said that the group had made an offer to the club's president, Mr Jesus Samper, to buy his stake.
It was not stated how much the offer was.
In an interview with Spanish television channel 7TV in September, Mr Samper confirmed he was in negotiations to sell his stake in the club.
However, he said that he has been negotiating only with one person – Mr Perea – and he does not know if Mr Perea was representing anybody.
Any deals that happen will come with the hope of turning Real Murcia's fortunes around.
Until 2008, the club had spent 18 seasons in the top flight La Liga, though though never breaking into the top half.
Last season, Real Murcia – nicknamed Los Pimentoneros – finished fourth in the second-tier Segunda Division. Unfortunately, they were also relegated to the third division as they were unable to pay their debts to the Spanish tax authorities and also failed to meet the debt-to-income ratio set by Spain's Professional Football League.
Founded in 1908, the club is currently top of the 20-team Group 4 of the Segunda Division B.
Source: La Verdad, Goal.com