Sevilla president resigns following jail sentence

AFP| Updated: Dec 09, 2013, 18:14 PM IST

Madrid: Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido resigned his post on Monday after being sentenced to seven years in prison for embezzlement and breaching the course of justice last week.

A lawyer by trade, Del Nido was accused of charging the local authority in Marbella millions of euros for work that was either unnecessary or never even carried out between 1999 and 2003.

The 56-year-old was first sentenced to seven-and-a-half years for the crimes by a provincial court in Malaga back in 2011.

And his appeal to the Supreme Court only succeeded in reducing that sentence by six months.

"The day I hoped would never come has arrived. I am leaving with profound sadness," he said at a press conference attended by the first-team squad.

"I have always considered myself as innocent of the crimes, but I made a mistake.

"I apologise to the shareholders for having been sentenced as president of Sevilla football club."

However, Del Nido signalled his intent to continue his legal fight.

"There are many mechanisms open to avoid going to prison and I will exhaust every legal path to do so.

"I hope to make my appeals as a free man, but if I have to enter prison I will do so with strength and dignity."

Del Nido has been in charge of the Andalusian club since 2002 and oversaw one of the most successful spells in its history as it won back-to-back UEFA Cups in 2006 and 2007.