Valencia stadium deal falls through

Valencia has withdrawn from an exclusive agreement with ADU Mediterráneo, which had intended to demolish the LaLiga club’s Mestalla stadium in a move that would have allowed the Spanish team to pursue a project for a new home.

Both parties have mutually agreed that the circumstances for the formalisation of the agreement “do not exist” and the partnership has now been terminated with immediate effect.

A date of March 31 (tomorrow) had been set as a deadline for guarantees to be presented to Valencia and it had previously been reported that the club would receive a single payment of between €115m (£103m/$127m) and €120m for the Mestalla site in July 2022. At this point, the club would have been bound to deliver the stadium to ADU Mediterráneo for work to commence on the Residencial Acequia de Mestalla project.

With the deal having been terminated, Valencia said it would analyse different alternatives for a new stadium. ADU will be free to continue looking for the adequate financial guarantees for its residential project.

Valencia president Anil Murthy said: “Unfortunately it means that they (ADU) cannot comply with the purchase conditions that we had agreed upon, they have told us that they cannot and they are looking for alternatives. For this reason, it is evident that we cannot maintain the exclusivity of this project, something that we have already formally notified you of.

“We do not want to sell false expectations. Of course, ADU will continue working to try to find the financial guarantees that Valencia CF demands and needs. From now on, other alternatives are opened to carry out the project as a whole, which means completing the construction of the new stadium.”

Murthy, who said a new stadium is “fundamental” both for the club and the city of Valencia, added: “We will re-evaluate different alternatives. For a long time, especially in the last 12 months, a lot of work has been done, there is a part that helps us a lot.

“The reality, however, is that you have to see it with the perspective that the global pandemic of Covid-19 has created a lot of uncertainty and pressure on the global financial situation both for football clubs and in general.

“The current horrible situation is impacting everyone and is going to be a great economic blow to investment plans, especially in infrastructure. No one knows when, in Spain and throughout the world, the economy will regain some normality. We cannot wait for that and from this very moment we continue searching for the best options.”

Valencia reached its agreement with ADU last April as it looked to progress with its long-running plans for a new stadium. The club has held hopes for a new stadium for some time, with construction work on the Nuevo Mestalla having been suspended in February 2009.

The current Mestalla has been Valencia’s home since 1923. In May 2018, Valencia engaged professional and financial services company Deloitte, which is serving as a key partner for the revised plans for the Nuevo Mestalla.

Valencia’s agreement with ADU had stipulated that the club would need to move into the 61,500-seat Nuevo Mestalla ahead of the 2022-23 season but the termination of the agreement casts fresh doubt on the project.

Image: Tot-futbol