By Adelene Wong
Published: 7:37 AM, October 1, 2015
SINGAPORE — Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim will inject €100 million (S$159.1 million) into Valencia CF via his private investment company, Meriton Holdings, said the Spanish La Liga football club’s executive president, Chan Lay Hoon this morning (Singapore time).
At the press conference held at the Mestalla Stadium, Chan said the board has just approved this at a board meeting held earlier in the day.
“We have just finished our board meeting, and the board has just approved, and Meriton has agreed to capitalise on the shareholder loan of €100 million,” she said.
“With the capitalisation of the €100 million loan, the equity of the club will be strengthened from the current €50 million to €150 million.”
An extra €80-million loan facility will be granted to Valencia CF, said Chan. The cash injections will enable the club to achieve a number of objectives, she added.
“The strengthening of the club’s balance sheet and financial health will allow us to: One, continue to invest in first team and academy to compete at the highest level of European competitions,” she said.
“Two, (it will allow us) to strengthen our balance sheets to protect our assets, and to build a brighter future for the club.
“And thirdly - which is I think is a very important point where the club has been suffering in the past - that is, to allow the club to be in a very strong position to manage a credible relationship with regulators, business partners, bankers, and creditors.
“So that, when we talk to them, we look at them in the eyes.”
Singaporean Lim was given a hero’s welcome by Valencia CF fans after buying 70.4 per cent of the near-bankrupt club last May in a €420 million deal.
He had also promised to turn the club’s fortunes around by ridding the club of their debts and financing the construction of a new stadium.
Valencia CF finished fourth last season to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2012. However, a slow start to their campaign this season resulted in some unhappiness among a section of fans, who have been whistling and jeering under-fire coach Nuno Espiritio Santo during matches.
Last week, former club vice-president Miguel Zorio also filed a legal complaint targeted at Lim, football agent Jorge Mendes, and former club president Amadeo Salvo. In the complaint, Zorio questioned the club’s purchase of a number of player who are represented by Mendes.
Addressing the fans’ unhappiness with the results on the field, Chan said she felt that they were coming down a bit too hard on the team.
“In the recent games, when the team was not in their best form, (there was) the whistling and the criticism that we get from the fans. We are always self-critical, but personally, I still feel a bit bad for our team. I feel that our fans were a bit harsh on our team,” she said.
“So we know that we have to work very hard to win our fans back... My message to our fans is, let’s stick together as family.”
On Zorio’s allegations, she said: “I don’t know this person, but I heard a lot of stories about this person.
“The club has issued an official statement a few days ago. He (Zorio) has never approached me or asked me for any clarification before he makes the allegations... Only this morning, he has sent a letter to the club, and this is after he had already made very damaging allegations. So, I think that shows you how responsible this person is. I don’t think I need to say anymore.”