Local court suspends Malaga club’s Qatari president

Qatari businessman Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani has been removed as president of Spanish club Malaga for six months on a series of charges including alleged illegal appropriation, a regional court said.

The alleged charges, which also included conduct ‘causing unfair prejudice and improper management’, were brought by a group called The Association of Small Shareholders of Malaga CF, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The judge investigating the case ordered a judicial administrator – Jose Maria Munoz – to take care of administration at the club during the period.

Al Thani purchased Malaga in June 2010 for a reported €36 million (Dh142m), investing money into the club to pay for a series of big-name signings including Ruud van Nistelrooy, Santi Cazorla, Isco and Julio Baptista.

The signings helped the club finish fourth in La Liga in 2012 and qualify for the Champions League for the first time. However, they were forced to sell many of their top players shortly after the season ended due to financial difficulties but still reached the quarter-finals of Europe’s top competition, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund.

Malaga were relegated in 2018 and are currently 15th in Spain’s second division.