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VALENCIA

Broke Valencia FC to be rescued by billionaire

Singaporean businessman Peter Lim has made a bid to take over financially-stricken La Liga side Valencia and wipe out its debts, the club's president Amadeo Salvo announced on Sunday.

Broke Valencia FC to be rescued by billionaire
Valencia's partly-built 75,000-seat stadium was meant to be finished in 2009. Their €344 million budget proved too much for a club which was already €547 million in debt. Photo: YouTube

The club's hierarchy has been looking for investors since principal creditor Bankia refused earlier this month to refinance the combined 306 million euro (US$418 million, £256 million) debt the club and its foundation has with the bank.

Salvo said that Bankia had still to give the green light to Lim's proposal and had asked for more time to study other offers.

However, he insisted that given the 60-year-old is willing to clear the club's debts and invest heavily in the playing squad, Lim's would be a difficult offer to match.

"He has made us a proposal that will clear the debt owed by the foundation and Valencia to Bankia and will invest a significant amount in the first team immediately," said Salvo.

"It is one of the best two or three biggest offers made for a club in world football."

Moreover, according to Salvo, Lim has set a deadline of January 15 for the offer to be accepted so the club can reinforce their squad in the January transfer window with the hope of challenging for the Champions League places come the end of the season.

Lim has previously been linked with investment in football clubs, most notably when he bid for Liverpool in 2010, and has a net worth of $2.3 billion, according to American business magazine Forbes.

Valencia fortunes on and off the field have suffered since a financial crisis struck Spain in 2009.

The club have been unable to finish work on their new Mestalla stadium and have had to sell a number of their best players.

And last week it was announced that Valencia are one of seven Spanish clubs to be investigated by the European Commission for alleged illegal state aid for the role in which local government played in guaranteeing the loans taken out by the club from Bankia.

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FEATURE

REMINDER: What are the new Covid restrictions in Spain’s Valencia region?

If you live in or are soon visiting Alicante, Valencia or Castellón, these are the new eased restrictions for the coastal region starting on Monday May 24th 2021.

REMINDER: What are the new Covid restrictions in Spain's Valencia region?
Photo: Jose Jordán/AFP

The Comunidad Valenciana’s persistently low infection rate – currently 20 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days – has allowed regional authorities to ease coronavirus restrictions, some of the strictest in Spain since the start of the third wave in January.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re living in or visiting the Valencia region soon. 

Curfew

The curfew will remain in place in the region after May 24th but it will start later than previously, at 1am instead of midnight. That means that except for exceptional reasons, nobody can be outdoors from 1am to 6am. 

Valencian regional president Ximo Puig has stressed that if the epidemiological situation remains stable, the curfew – or toque de queda in Spanish – will be lifted as of June 7th.

Bars, cafés and restaurants

From Monday 24th, bars, restaurants and cafés can stay open until 12.30 am, one hour later than the previous closing time.

A capacity of 50 percent is allowed inside the premises and 100 percent on outdoor terraces. 

Sitting at the bar, smoking (including electronic cigarettes or hookahs) and dancing  indoors or outdoors are still prohibited.

Family and social gatherings

A limit of 10 people is established in public spaces both outdoors and indoors, except in the case of people who are living under the same roof. 

Inside homes and other private use spaces, the limit of 10 people also applies and only people from two households can gather.

Beaches and nature

The use of the mask is still mandatory when walking around on beaches, around swimming pools, lakes and other natural spaces.

However, as long as you can keep a distance of 1.5 metres with others, you will be allowed to take off your mask while sunbathing or sitting in one spot at the beach. 

If you’re going for a dip in the sea, you don’t have to wear a mask as it’s incompatible with swimming, whereas if you’re going for a stroll along the shore you do have to keep your mask on. 

Groups at the beach, swimming pool or in nature cannot exceed ten people.

Celebrations and events

The capacity is increased up to 75 percent for activities relating to celebrations, events or gatherings of a sporting, cultural or social nature, as well as for political rallies.

In churches and other places of worship it’s still important to abide by a safe distance of 1.5 metres between gatherers.

In enclosed spaces, a maximum of 3,000 people are allowed, while in open spaces, the limit is set at 4,000 people. 

In both cases, the capacity has to be separated into groups of 1,000 people each.

 In addition, eating and drinking will only be allowed in areas specially enabled for this purpose.

READ ALSO: 

How Spain’s Valencia region achieved one of Europe’s lowest infection rates

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