Dubai’s Royal Emirates Group on Sunday confirmed its buyout of Spanish La Liga side Getafe and said it plans invest up to $130m in the team over a five-year period, Arabian Business can reveal.
Doubts were raised over the deal after Getafe president Angel Torres told reporters the Spanish club remained in talks and said he had visited Dubai in a bid to secure sponsors.
Royal Emirates Group, which is chaired by a member of Dubai's ruling Al Maktoum family, said the contract had been signed and Torres had been misquoted.
“It’s a one hundred percent done deal,” managing director Dr Kaiser Rafiq told Arabian Business. “[Torres] promised to confirm the sale deal tomorrow at 6pm Spain time. If it doesn’t happen I will make the contract available to the media.
“[Torres] meant to say that he will announce the sale of the club during the press conference and he has been offered many sponsorships from major corporations of Dubai but the media took the words out of context and published the wrong story,” he said.
Royal Emirates Group on Thursday confirmed its purchase of Getafe and pledged to “inject new blood” into the Spanish side over the coming year.
Under the terms of the deal, the club will be renamed ‘Getafe Team Dubai’, officials said during a press conference at the Burj Al Arab, which included the Spanish side’s chairman.
“We have a big investment we are looking to put into it [and] in the players,” Rafiq said.
When pushed as to the size of the investment, Rafiq said he “wouldn’t hesitate” to match the purchase price, which was put at between €70m and €90m ($100-130m).
“[We tell] the players the team will get stronger with our support.”
Royal Emirates Group considered a shortlist of three Spanish clubs before negotiating a deal with Getafe, but Rafiq quashed media rumours that the company had considered Real Zaragoza.
“With Zaragoza we didn’t negotiate with at all. We wanted to have a cash deal… Getafe is the team that is debt free and we know that financially it is one of the best [in La Liga],” he said.
The deal is the third for the league involving a non-Spanish buyer in the past year, following the sale of Malaga to a member of the Qatari royal family and the purchase of Racing Santander by an Indian businessman.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.