Sevilla has been rocked by the news that its president Jose Maria del Nido has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, reports Sport Business.
Del Nido, who has served as president of Sevilla since 2002, has been sentenced for his role in the embezzlement of public funds in the Spanish town of Marbella.
He has also been ordered to pay Marbella town hall US$3.5 million after the regional Malaga court found that he had operated as a lawyer in a corruption ring that ran from 1999 to 2003.
Marbella’s former Mayor, Julian Munoz, received the same sentence, while the municipality’s former urban planning adviser, Juan Antonio Roca, was sentenced to four years in prison.
Del Nido has proved to be a controversial figure in Spanish football and has been the ringleader of the drive to reduce FC Barcelona and Real Madrid’s financial dominance of La Liga.
“This is terribly unjust,” said Sevilla vice-president Jose Castro, in quotes reported by the Associated Press.