If you were following along with Andy Brassell’s contributions earlier this week, here are some of the things you probably know about Valencia: a.) the team’s pretty damn good, right now; b.) it’s unclear how long that will last, because; c.) there are still some significant obstacles standing between Los Che and the prominence they had under Rafa Benítez. The only lead they’ve been challenging of late is at the top of the Spain’s debt table.
That’s why today’s news is so important. According to reports, Peter Lim, a Singaporean businessman working to acquire the club, recently completed his purchase, with Singapore Secretary of State Teo Chee Hean confirming the news today in a speech at his country’s Spanish Embassy. Though Lim’s company Meriton (or Valencia’s major creditor, Bankia) has yet to confirm the news, it appears the final hurdles have been traversed.
As Andy discussed, there are a number of reasons why this is good news for Valencia, with Lim’s influence already having a positive effect on the club:
Nou Mestalla – By the time the venue opens in 2019 (at least, that’s Lim’s goal), the stadium will be a decade in the works. But at least the new owner is committed to selling the current Mestalla and moving into the now-vacant ground. Empty, half-finished, neglected for lack of funds, the Nou Mestalla has become a symbol of Valencia’s plight. Once the venue’s reclaimed, the project can be an emblem of Los Che’s future.
Insisting on Nuno – The former goalkeeper wasn’t exactly unknown before arriving at Valencia, but as head coach of Rio Ave in the Portuguese Liga, he was still relatively obscure. But at Lim’s insistence, he was brought to Spain. Through seven rounds, the relative neophyte is still unbeaten.
André Gomes and Meriton – Pending his clearance to buy the team, Lim couldn’t start investing in the squad. That didn’t keep him from helping, though. Through Meriton, he was able to steer André Gomes into Nuno’s midfield. Along with João Cancelo and Rodrigo, Gomes is one of three Benfica players on loan at the club.
Priorities – I know this it was probably obligatory thing, but there was something symbolic about Lim being in Singapore, negotiating the final details of his purchase, while his team faced Atlético this weekend. Even in the face of one of Los Che’s most important games, Lim was keeping the cart before the horse.
Priorities matter, and rather than giving the impression that Valencia is merely the latest trinket in an oligarch’s portfolio (a too common occurrence in this sport), Lim seems focused on finalizing his deal. He’s prioritizing the Nou Mestalla, and indications are Valencia’s place near the top of the league’s debt table will change.
Famous last words? Perhaps, but there’s reason for optimism at the Mestalla – both versions of it.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Andy, again, from Monday’s show:
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