Football: Valencia fans vent fury on owner Peter Lim after loss

Supporters demonstrating against owner Peter Lim after Valencia's 4-1 defeat by Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday.
Supporters demonstrating against owner Peter Lim after Valencia's 4-1 defeat by Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

VALENCIA • There was to be no happy New Year for Spanish football side Valencia as their miserable season continued with a 4-1 Copa del Rey first-leg thrashing at home by Celta Vigo on Tuesday.

It leaves Peter Lim's side an uphill battle to make it to the next stage of the competition, and their fans showed their displeasure by taking to the streets in a demonstration against the Singapore billionaire owner, chanting: "Peter go now!"

In Tuesday's game, Valencia went down by three goals within 20 minutes.

Club president Chan Lay Hoon was in the directors' box to witness the match and the reaction of the crowd, who whistled loudly at the home side at half-time.

The first-leg defeat compounded Valencia's troubled Spanish Primera Liga season, as they sit just outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

To make matters worse, they are also in search of a coach, after former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli abruptly resigned last week.

The Italian's departure leaves the club without a permanent coach for the fourth time in just over a year.

Lim's takeover in 2014 was supposed to herald a new era for Valencia after years of financial hardship, in part caused by the Spanish property crash while they were building a new stadium and training ground.

However, after a successful first season in which Valencia made the Champions League, it went downhill when head coach Nuno Espirito Santo resigned in November 2015.

That kicked off the coaching merry-go-round that has also seen former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, Pako Ayestaran and Prandelli come and go.

Meanwhile, top players were allowed to leave the club, and results have plummeted to leave fans furious at what is happening to their beloved club.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2017, with the headline 'Valencia fans vent fury on owner Lim after loss'. Print Edition | Subscribe