Wed | Jun 29, 2022

Valencia fans protest against owner Lim outside stadium

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2022 | 12:16 AM

MADRID (AP):

THOUSANDS OF Valencia fans angry with club owner Peter Lim protested outside its stadium on Saturday when their team played its final game of the season.

Fans waved signs saying “Lim go home” and shouted for the Singapore businessman to sell the club. It appeared that there were more fans flooding the streets outside Mestalla Stadium than inside watching the Spanish league match against Celta Vigo.

The latest protest against Lim’s leadership was called after local sports newspaper Superdeporte published leaked audios of club president Anil Murthy. In the recordings, Murthy appeared to say the club is planning to sue the local government over delays in the construction of a new stadium. He also seemed to disparage some local residents.

‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’

Valencia responded with a statement that said the newspaper was carrying out a “smear campaign” and “illegitimately published recordings that belong to the private sphere, taken out of context, edited and adulterated”.

The 68-year-old Lim bought the then bankrupt Valencia in 2014. At first, its fans were thrilled to see a new owner who could refloat the debt-ridden club. But they quickly became estranged when Lim started to sell off talented players and seemed content on a middling place in the league standings.