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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

The owners of La Liga club Malaga "are negotiating the sale of the club" with an Albanian Investment group, according to Jesus Ballesteros of MARCA. Spanish lawyer Roberto Rodriguez Casas is carrying out the negotiations between the club and Oil Taci, the investment group owned by Albanian magnate Rezart Taci. At this point nothing is official but contact has been established, and the presence of NAS Group Exec Moayad Shatat "could make it possible that an agreement be reached without the presence" of current Malaga Owner Sheik Abdullah Al-Thani. The sheik "could be replaced" by an oil magnate that already had experience in football. Taci has bought shares in Italian side Bologna and his company is one of AC Milan's main sponsors. At the moment, Malaga is in "a very unstable situation" due to complaints filed against them by Villareal and Osasuna along with late payments to the players and no new signings with 20 days to go until the start of the season (MARCA, 7/29). AS' Carlos Cariño reported that Al-Thani is "looking to sell ownership of property that did not give him the results he hoped." The sheik bought the club in the summer of  '10 from the Sanz family for a supposed €36M, of which €14.5 went to the previous owners and the rest "toward assuming the debt of the club" (AS, 7/29).

Chinese Super League Shanghai Shenhua FC fans boycotted a friendly against ManU "to protest at the match being played in the middle of the Chinese league season," according to the AFP. Wednesday's large 42,000 crowd included "few blue-shirted Shenhua supporters" except a group of about 100 behind one goal. Before the match began, an online campaign started by Shenhua fans had "urged the club's supporters to shun the event." Some supporters said that high ticket prices had "deterred them from attending" -- the cheapest seats were selling for 180 yuan ($28) each, nearly a quarter of the price of a Shenhua season ticket (AFP, 7/27).