Spanish second division outfit Malaga are making some first-team players redundant in a bid to improve the club’s finances, a new low at a team that once aspired to be among Europe’s top sides.
“This new restructuring is part of the new financial plan that hopes to take the club out of the complicated financial situation it still finds itself immersed in despite recent efforts,” said Malaga’s statement on the redundancies.
“The club feels obliged to take this step for the good of the club and hopes that Malaga season ticket holders and supporters understand and support this new move, the only objective of which is to bring hope to the club once again.”
The statement did not say how many players would leave Malaga as a result of the redundancies, although newspaper Marca said 10 players would be forced to depart.
The Marca report added that the club would only be able to hold on to players who agreed to take a pay cut of at least 80 per cent, which would amount to a salary of no more than 200,000 euros per year.
The club were bought in 2010 by Qatari businessman Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani, who bankrolled their most successful period as they finished fourth in La Liga in 2012 to qualify for the Champions League for the first time.
But Al Thani’s money soon ran out and they had to sell their best players including Ruud van Nistelrooy, Santi Cazorla and Julio Baptista to meet the league’s financial regulations.
Despite the upheaval, Malaga reached the Champions League quarter-finals in 2013 where they came close to beating Borussia Dortmund before two late goals from the Germans, then coached by Jurgen Klopp, sent them out 3-2 on aggregate.
Further player departures, such as Isco and Joaquin, soon followed and the team’s fortunes continued to decline, culminating in relegation from the top flight in 2018. They finished in 15th place last season.
In February this year, a regional court removed Al Thani as president for six months on a series of charges including alleged illegal appropriation, with judicial administrator Jose Maria Munoz put in charge of the club.