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Exclusive: Subirats reveals how Lim can return Valencia to glory days after broken promises

Javier Subirats, both a legendary player and director for Valencia, believes the club cannot return to its glory days without drastic change.

As with many football other clubs in the world, Valencia are looking at financial ruin due to the impact of COVID-19 and failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Owner Peter Lim and his company, Meriton, have sought to offset the problem by selling a number of experienced players this summer.

Dani Parejo, Francis Coquelin, Rodrigo and Ferran Torres have all departed, with more expected to follow before the October 5 deadline.

This follows after a tumultuous season in which they sacked manager Marcelino and his replacement, Albert Celades, before finishing in 9th position on the La Liga table.

The crisis currently enveloping the Spanish club has elevated tension between Meriton and the club's passionate supporters. Former striker Alvaro Negredo has also spoken out, stating last month that ownership was "destroying the club."

While Subirats does not agree with Negredo, the man who steered Valencia to La Liga titles in the early 2000s believes Lim and Meriton have not delivered on promises given when they took over the club in 2014.

He told Tribalfootball.com: "I don't believe that Meriton are destroying a club that they own (Valencia CF) but the decisions they are making, in part, are influenced by the current economic situation to a certain extent. However, their other decisions were made before the current economic problems (of COVID etc.) and they are not carrying out what they proposed when they were voted in.

"When Peter Lim arrived it was said that he was going to invest a lot of money in the club, that they were not going to sell key players, that it was absolutely essential to finish the new stadium to create lots of investment and profit, that they were going to create a team to always be in the Champions League as part of their economic project.

"The club is not in that position or on the premises that Lim said it would be when he took over. However, given that Lim is the major shareholder of Valencia CF, I think the word 'destroy' is not the right one as it would go against what he wants for the club."

By limiting investment in the playing squad, Subirats argues, Meriton is ruining their chances of receiving financial benefits from qualifying for the Champions League.

Sporting director Cesar Sanchez also resigned after the sacking of Celades, who was replaced by Javi Gracia, the club's seventh coach during the ownership of Meriton.

And Subirats believes it is vital for Lim to place the club under control of reputable professionals.

Asked if Valencia could return to its best days under Lim, the 68-year-old said: "Yes, in principle, Valenciacould return to its best days but they need to professionalise the club, they need good professionals especially in the sporting departments.

"By doing this, a club gains financially too because if a club fails to perform from a sporting level, it has more difficulty gaining sponsors and suffers economically in other areas too. However, I don't know what the club's intentions are at the moment.

"It's currently in a very delicate situation. The club is being run by people who are really not the best choices for a club if we are to see Valencia CF to return, eventually, to its days of glory.

"When Lim took over, it was said that he would be putting lots of money into the club when problems would occur but we can see that that has not really happened.

"Things then start to get more and more complicated as clubs above them get more success, gain more financially and are then able to have more competitive squads. The gap then widens between the more successful clubs and Valencia CF as Valencia has to sell their best players, the spine of the team.

"Even with those players, Valencia did not qualify for Champions League. I don't see that there are better players in the squad compared to last season and I don't think the people making the technical decisions are the best for the club."

About the author

Will McCarthy

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