A Dubai business group has bought Spanish club Getafein a deal worth at least €70 million.
The Royal Emirates Group of Companies wouldn’t disclose the exact price they paid for the topflight Spanish club. But Kaiser Rafiq, a partner and managing director of the business conglomerate, said the price ranged from €70-90 million.
Rafiq said “70 to 75 percent has been paid up front” in cash and that none of the funds are coming from the Dubai government. Of the remainder, he said, there are “some legalities that have to be gone through” but that Getafe was happy with the structure of the deal.
“This is strictly a private business deal,” he said.
The group, chaired by Sheik Butti bin Suhail Al Maktoum, said the club’s name will remain unchanged but “Team Dubai” will be added to the team shirts, stadium and other merchandise.
“We are really glad today to be witnessing this great moment,” Sheik Butti said. “We are really happy and glad to sign this contract with Spain’s first division Getafe. We are also happy to include the name Team Dubai. I hope this will improve relations between the UAE and Spain.”
Getafe president Angel Torres, who attended the news conference along with team captain Manuel del Moral, dismissed fears that fans would be put off by the addition of Team Dubai on the logo.
“The sponsors or whomever is working behind the scenes is not important,” he said. “What is important is becoming competitive.
“We need to send a message of confidence to supporters,” he said. “We have examples where these kind of associations have pushed clubs to grow and we can be confident that this will happen to Getafe.”
Torres said Getafe had considered offers in the past but Dubai’s was the “most interesting and serious.”
“We want the club to become first class after Real Madrid and Barcelona,” he said. “For the investors group, it will be a good deal because they can show what they want in our country. The important part now is that both parties do what they said they would do.”
Both sides said the sale would result in the club entering the transfer market this summer.
“We have players in mind,” Rafiq said. “We might take them from this region as well as get some new blood from various parts of Europe. In the coming year, we are definitely going to secure position in the top six. Whatever it takes, we will do it.”