DUBAI - Dubai's Royal Emirates Group is
set to announce the purchase of a Spanish football club on
Thursday, the company said without revealing the identity of its
"We confirm that the company will buy a Spanish team,"
Suleiman al Butti, project manager of Royal Emirates Group, told
Reuters on Tuesday.
The company, an investment firm chaired by Sheikh Butti Bin
Suhail Al Maktoum, suggested in a later statement the club would
be named "Team Dubai" but it was not clear whether that would
become the official name.
"It is to be announced that His Highness Sheikh Butti Bin
Suhail Al Maktoum and Royal Emirates Group will become the owner
of one of the top 'first league' football teams of La Liga
Spain," the statement said.
A report on arabianbusiness.com and widely reproduced in
Spanish media said the club in question was cash-strapped Real
Zaragoza, who are flirting with relegation in 18th place in the
La Liga standings with six games left.
A Zaragoza spokesman said the club were aware of the reports
but were making no immediate comment.
If confirmed, the deal would be the third involving a
non-Spanish buyer in the past year following the sale of Malaga
to a member of the Qatari royal family and the purchase of
Racing Santander by an Indian businessman.
Royal Emirates Group said Dubai's minister of culture, the
Spanish ambassador and "many other corporate icons and members
of the ruling family of Dubai" would attend Thursday's
Zaragoza, who lost 1-0 at Villarreal on Monday, said on
their website that training had been
suspended until Thursday.
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