Valencia refute reports of officials' disgreement with Peter Lim
Club chairman Chan pours cold water on reports of differences between former president and Singapore owner Peter Lim
Valencia yesterday refuted reports that president Amadeo Salvo and some senior club officials have left because of differences with Singaporean owner Peter Lim.
At a press conference in Valencia yesterday morning (Singapore time), Salvo, 48, whose father is battling cancer, announced his resignation citing "personal and family reasons".
Director Manuel Peris, sporting manager Rufete and technical secretary Fabian Ayala, also quit the La Liga giants.
Reports in the Spanish media, however, insinuated that there was more to it than met the eye, suggesting that there were disagreements between Lim and the officials on the sporting front.
But Valencia chairman Chan Lay Hoon, who took over from Salvo with immediate effect, was quick to quash such talk.
In an e-mail reply to The New Paper's queries, she said: "There are different views on sporting matters. This is very common in every football club.
"There is no disagreement with Peter (Lim) as reported in the media.
"The technical team joined Valencia because of Amadeo (Salvo), who is leaving due to personal reasons and, with Amadeo's departure, they have also reached an agreement with the club to leave together...
"We understand Amadeo's reasons for returning to his family and family business during this difficult time and we respect his decision."
Asked about Valencia's sporting strategy, she added: "Our objectives remain focused on growing the club and competing at the highest level of European football."
Salvo, a lifelong Valencia fan, became the president of the then-debt-riddled club in June, 2013.
One of his primary tasks was to look for investors to prevent the club from sinking. In November, 2013, during one such trip to Asia, he met Lim, and the rest is history.
Lim took over as owner of the club last year, and his first season already produced a remarkable turnaround.
Financially recharged, Los Che, as Valencia are known as, finished fourth in La Liga last season to clinch a coveted spot in the Champions League, along with champions Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who qualified after winning last season's Europa League.
When asked how the departures will affect the club, Chan said: "Valencia are an established football club.
"It is business as usual at the club.
"We believe that the club are above everyone and we will recover in no time."
No replacements for the other positions have been lined up, yet.
Chan said that the club will take their time to find the best people to fill the vacancies.
She said: "We are taking this opportunity to review the organisational structure to improve the reporting lines.
"Valencia, being a big club, are an attractive place for many sports and technical executives. We will take our time to consider all options carefully."
However, Chan, who has to juggle the roles of chairman and president for now, acknowledged that this will be a "challenging period" for her.
She said: "I have gained a good insight into Spanish football over the last couple of years.
"With the support of the local advisory board and management team, we will be able to tide over this period."
TOP OFFICIALS LEAVE CLUB
Amadeo Salvo has resigned as president of La Liga club Valencia citing personal reasons, although various reports in the Spanish media claimed his departure, along with several other senior personnel, was due to differences with Singaporean owner Peter Lim.
Salvo, who has been in the post since June 2013, sitting alongside Chan Lay Hoon, who replaces him with immediate effect, said his family were going through a tough time.
"Last month, I warned Lay Hoon that once the season was over, I would leave the club," said Salvo (below), at a press conference (yesterday morning, Singapore time).
"My family is experiencing a difficult period.
"My father has cancer and it is tough.
"There is no point in prolonging when I cannot give 100 per cent."
Chan, whom Lim appointed as the club's executive president when he took over, thanked him for his service to the club and then announced that aside from Salvo's departure, four other directors would also be leaving, including sporting director Rufete and technical secretary Fabian Ayala.
The Spanish press said the exits of Salvo and Rufete were more to do with disagreements with the management on the sporting front since billionaire businessman Lim assumed control of the club in May 2014.
Some discussed the ongoing battle by clubs like Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City to sign Valencia's Argentina international defender Nicolas Otamendi - currently preparing for Sunday's Copa America final in Chile - and the involvement of the world's top football agent Jorge Mendes, a close ally of Lim.
Lim, 62, bought 70 per cent of the club which was in a dire financial state, due to serious debts and the construction of a new stadium that came to at a standstill because of a lack of financing.
Lim's arrival, which he said would see him invest at least 300 million euros ($450m), was greeted by Salvo as being "an historic opportunity for the club".
And, with the Valencia fans backing the Singaporean, he has masterminded a quick turnaround, steadying the Valencia ship to the extent the club finished fourth in La Liga in the last campaign and qualified for the lucrative Champions League - the top club competition in the world - in the upcoming season.
Speaking at the press conference, Salvo added: "Two years ago, the club were definitely worse off than now. They were a club in decline and today they are thriving and there is a new-found excitement. Now Valencia are in good hands and the club have a great future ahead with Lay Hoon and Peter Lim.
"I ask the fans to continue to always support the team, as I will now do from my seat at the Mestalla as a fan - as I did before becoming president."
Chan, the new president of Valencia, said: "Personally, this is a difficult period for me, but I'm sure that Valencia are above all of us and that we will emerge stronger in no time.
"My goal is to gain the trust and support of the fans and shareholders." - Wire Services.