Lay Hoon Chan, president of Valencia CF, paid us a visit yesterday in our AS offices. She stayed about an hour and a half and it was her suggestion to explain their project to us. And she succeeded. You'll find the transcript of the meeting in another part of today's paper, under the signature of our delegate in Valencia, Conrado Valle, who was also in attendance. It was a simple statement of the plans, the way that things have been unfolding and the successive setbacks. The exit of Salvo and of Nuno, the relationship with Mendes, and how the new ownership is regarded by the Valencian fans.
We were struck by her serenity and logic when talking through a plan that most of us were skeptical about. She was clearly aware that her group is seen as a foreign invasion of a sentimental world, Valencia, and the obstacles that have been faced so far in the project. She spoke of the sporting model and its setbacks, the plan for the new stadium where they plan to say their goodbyes to the dear old Mestalla in 2019, the club's centennial year. She regretted, in footballing terms, that the project for the new stadium had ignored key elements.
None of the questions fazed her. She calmly answered each one. She came voluntarily, and to a meeting that was scheduled prior to the team's recent wins, which have somewhat quelled the pressure on the project. As she departed, we were left with the feeling that these people (both her and Peter Lim) are not just passing through. There are some precedents for 'miraculous investors' in football these days, but there was something in her conviction on each of the issues addressed on long-termism that gives credibility to the model. This is football and a lot can happen, but I feel that they are here in good faith.