Royal Emirates Group buys Spanish soccer club

Dubai: The Dubai-based Royal Emirates Group investment firm confirmed on Thursday the purchase of Spanish first division soccer club Getafe, which is to be renamed "Getafe Team Dubai".

The documents of the sale were signed by club president Angel Torres Sanchez and the managing director of Royal Emirates, Kaiser Rafiq, among other political figures and sports personalities.

Rafiq did not reveal the exact amount of the operation, but said that it was between 70 million and 90 million euros ($101 million-$130 million), the same amount that Royal Emirates said earlier it was prepared to pay for the Spanish soccer club.

Royal Emirates Group plans to invest in the club to bring "new blood" to Getafe and promote the squad in the Middle East.

The U.A.E. press had speculated recently about the possibility of the consortium acquiring a Spanish club, and among the candidates mentioned were Getafe and Real Zaragoza.

Royal Emirates Group described Getafe, based in suburban Madrid, as a "shooting star" that in a short time had managed to make its mark in the first division of Spain`s professional soccer league.

The group`s chairman, Sheikh Butti Bin Suhail Al Maktoum, said that the intention is for Getafe to "open its doors to Arab soccer talent".

"Getafe is a great team," he said.

Royal Emirates Group is invested in more than 200 firms covering a wide variety of interests including raw materials, oil, renewable energy, tourism, healthcare and construction.


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