Valencia dismiss claims that staff left because of disagreements

(From left) Mr Koh Kim Huat, Valencia’s club president Amadeo Salvo, Mr Peter Lim and his wife Cherie, and Ms Chan Lay Hoon outside Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on Oct 25, 2014.
(From left) Mr Koh Kim Huat, Valencia’s club president Amadeo Salvo, Mr Peter Lim and his wife Cherie, and Ms Chan Lay Hoon outside Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on Oct 25, 2014.PHOTO: LAZARO DE LA PENA, VALENCIA CF
Amadeo Salvo said that he could not continue because of his dad's cancer.
Amadeo Salvo said that he could not continue because of his dad's cancer.PHOTO COURTESY OF VALENCIA CF

A wave of high-profile departures has hit Spanish Primera Liga side Valencia after three of their senior executives resigned with immediate effect on Wednesday.

Leading the way was club president Amadeo Salvo, who cited his father's battle with cancer as the reason for his decision to relinquish the role he assumed in June 2013.

He said: "My family is experiencing a difficult period. There is no point in prolonging when I cannot give 100 per cent."

Also stepping down were general sporting manager Francisco Rufete and technical secretary Fabian Ayala - both former Valencia players - along with five staff members.

The Spanish press had attributed these exits to disagreements with the club's Singaporean owner, billionaire Peter Lim.

However, his trusted financial adviser Chan Lay Hoon, who is chairman of the Valencia board, disputed such claims.

She told The Straits Times yesterday: "There are different views on sporting matters.

"This is very common in every football club and this cannot be the reason to drive people away.

"There is no disagreement with Peter as reported by the media.

"The technical team joined Valencia because of Amadeo and therefore they have also reached an agreement with the club to leave together with Amadeo when he left for personal reasons."

Added Salvo in an official statement issued by the club: "Two years ago, the club were definitely worse off than now.

"Now, Valencia are in good hands and the club has a great future ahead with Lay Hoon and Peter Lim. I ask the fans to continue to always support the team."

Businessman Lim, 62, estimated by Forbes to be worth US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion), paid €420 million (S$628 million) last October and assumed control of the 95-year-old club.

The six-time La Liga champions had been in a dire financial state, with serious debts and the construction of a new stadium at a standstill because of a lack of financing.

Chan, a former auditor, has taken over Salvo's role and will remain in it for the near future.

She noted: "Valencia CF are an established football club. It is business as usual at the club. We believe that the club is above everyone and we will recover in no time."

She thanked her predecessor for his contributions. Valencia finished fourth last season and qualified for the Champions League for the first time since 2013.

She added: "I may have a different management style but it will be based on transparency, sincerity and the best interests of the club.

"I hope that, over time, I will gain the fans' trust and support. We should not forget that we had a great season just more than a month ago. I call upon all our fans to be united and strong, and to face the new challenges together."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2015, with the headline 'Valencia dismiss claims that staff left because of disagreements'. Print Edition | Subscribe