If you’re a football fan, you probably know of Spanish football club Valencia CF.
And you might know that its owner is Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim and that its club president is Anil Murthy, who is also a Singaporean.
The club was acquired by Lim in 2014, while Murthy, who served as a Singapore diplomat in the past, took over the role of club president in 2017 after fellow Singaporean Chan Lay Hoon stepped down.
And just yesterday (30 May), Valencia released a statement indicating that Murthy, 49, will no longer be the president or an employee of the club with immediate effect.
Leaked Audio Recordings of Murthy’s Comments
On 16 May, Spanish newspaper Superdeporte released audio recordings of Murthy talking about Liverpool and Newscastle, two cities in England.
The recordings were allegedly recorded during a private dinner that Murthy was at in April this year.
Based on reports by Football Espana, Murthy’s comments of the two cities were “derogatory”.
Apart from that, Murthy was also heard to have threatened to vilify Valencia players in the media if they forced an exit.
After the recordings were leaked, the club put out a statement on the very same day and claimed that they were part of a smear campaign against them.
According to Valencia, the audio recordings were “edited and adulterated to convey a false or biased narrative”.
In its second statement released yesterday (30 May), Valencia emphasised that Murthy’s words did not represent the views of the club.
“Valencia CF disassociates itself from his views,” the board of directors announced.
In addition to that, the board also harped on how the club” values the importance of a close relationship” between itself and other parties such as fans and government authorities.
“The board hold(s) the view that a change in leadership is required, in order to regain the trust of the fans and the community and put Valencia CF in a position for success,” it added.
Club Currently Finding Replacement for Murthy, Another Singaporean to Act as Director-General for Now
While Valencia has already started its search for a new club president, Khojama Kalimuddin will be taking over the president role for the time being.
Kalimuddin, a non-executive director of Valencia’s board of directors, was appointed to take charge of all administrative matters throughout this period of time.
With regards to who the new president of the club will be, the club also said that it will be providing updates whenever appropriate.
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Additionally, Sean Bai will be assuming the role of acting director-general on an interim basis for now.
Bai, a Singaporean as well, joined Valencia in 2018 and is the director of Valencia’s youth academy.
“During this interim period, he will primarily oversee the football operations of Valencia CF and report to the board,” Valencia announced in its official statement.
Valencia also added, “The board would like to reiterate that Valencia CF are fully committed to achieving long-term growth and success, and to complete the construction of the new Mestalla stadium. We look forward to working with fans, authorities and other relevant stakeholders to achieve these objectives.”
Valencia finished ninth in La Liga this season and failed to qualify for any European competition for a third consecutive season.
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Featured Image: valenciacf.com