Football: Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim promises $85m chest for Valencia

Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim has pledged to spend 50 million euros (S$85 million) on new signings for Spanish football club Valencia during the January transfer window. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim has pledged to spend 50 million euros (S$85 million) on new signings for Spanish football club Valencia during the January transfer window. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim has pledged to spend 50 million euros (S$85 million) on new signings for Spanish football club Valencia during the January transfer window.

He was quoted in Spanish daily AS as saying: "I hope my offer is accepted. Forty million euros for signings seem too small for me. I have 50 million euros to spend this month.

"I like football a lot and I hope all goes well. My intentions are good and the offer is good."

Lim has given the La Liga side until today to consider his bid to buy the club.

He was interviewed by the Spanish newspaper in Zurich, where he attended the Ballon d'Or gala. Lim is known to be friends with newly crowned Fifa World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and the Real Madrid star's agent Jorge Mendes.

When Ronaldo accepted his trophy on Monday, cameras zoomed in on the audience and Lim was seen seated behind the player's mother.

Valencia announced on Dec 22 that the 60-year-old has offered to wipe off the club's 306 million euros (S$530 million) debt to Spanish bank Bankia.

Lim is estimated to be worth US$2.05 billion (S$2.6 billion) by Forbes Singapore.

Valencia, the last team outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona to win La Liga in 2004, have fallen on hard times. Crippling debts, no thanks to players' high wages and overspending on transfers, have forced them to sell stars like Juan Mata in recent seasons.

The club's new stadium is also incomplete owing to financial woes.

This is Lim's second attempt to buy a football club. In 2010, he made a £300 million (S$620.5 million) cash offer to buy Liverpool and was assured that his bid was "superior". But the Reds announced a deal with a US consortium later.

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