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Valencia: the power struggle between Lim and Alemany


This has already happened before at Valencia: then between Peter Lim, the new owner from exotic lands, and Amadeo Salvo, the president who had brought him in, who knew football and the city, and who intended to see him as a financial partner, not as an owner, and work autonomously.

That ended badly. Salvo jumped ship and Peter Lim subsequently replaced him with Layhoon Chan, a female executive he pulled from his holding company who did what she could but did not get things quite right. Football is not an easy business to handle for someone who is not familiar with its peculiar norms.

Chan was replaced by another from inside Lim’s circle, Anil Murthy, who soon understood that a link with real football suited him. He hired the talented and well-travelled Mateu Alemany, and struck the right chord by bringing Marcelino in as coach.

Things are working at Valencia; last season they won the Cup and secured their place in the Champions League for a second successive season. But suddenly the club finds itself in a similar situation to before: Peter Lim is the owner and feels he has every right to make decisions; Alemany is the successful general manager who feels equally entitled to call the shots. Meanwhile Anil Murthy, the president-in-charge, mediates between them and is overwhelmed by the task.

The sad thing for Valencia is that the money did not come out of the city to solve the mistakes of the past, the majority of which were caused by former president Juan Bautista Soler.

Soler survived badly until a man came from beyond full of promises and money. Lim offered a solution at a difficult moment for the club. But it is a solution that carries with it a major problem: Lim lives far away, he does not trust those in place to run things on their own, and it is going to be difficult for the Alemany-Marcelino duo, who work on site with proven success, to give him all of the deferential respect he believes he deserves as an owner.