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Valencia sack president Murthy after audio leaks

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Madrid, May 30, 2022 (AFP) - Valencia confirmed on Monday Anil Murthy has been sacked as president after he was heard threatening a player and criticising the club's owner, Peter Lim, in a series of leaked audio recordings.

In a statement, the club said "a change in leadership is required, in order to regain the trust of the fans and the community and to put Valencia CF in a position for success. Effective immediately, Anil Murthy will cease to be both President and an employee of Valencia CF."

In the recordings, published in April by Valencian newspaper Superdeporte, Murthy was heard threatening to destroy the reputation of Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler if he left the club on a free transfer.

Murthy was then heard in a separate recording calling Lim "an amateur", claiming the club's owner was too much of "a fan" to make sensible business decisions.

"The Board would like to clarify that the content of the leaked conversations between Anil Murthy and various third parties are the personal views of Anil Murthy and not of Valencia CF. Valencia CF disassociates itself from his views," the statement read.

Murthy's departure is the latest controversy to engulf Valencia during a turbulent period for the club.

Lim's Meriton Capital company took over Valencia in 2014 but despite early investment in the team and optimism among the fans, the Singaporean's commitment and popularity has plummeted in recent years.

The squad has suffered from a drive to cut costs as key players have been sold and not replaced.

"Pushing the 'big stadium, big players, win La Liga and the Champions League at all costs' mentality will lead to a repeat of the past," said Murthy in 2020.

Valencia have finished ninth, 13th and ninth in the last three seasons in La Liga, with more than 10,000 fans gathering outside Mestalla in May to protest against the running of the club.

Academy director Sean Bai will "oversee the football operations" as interim acting director general, Valencia confirmed. Non-executive director Khojama Kalimuddin will temporarily stand in as president of the board of directors.

Valencia won the last of their six La Liga titles in 2004, the year they also lifted the UEFA Cup, and were Champions League runners-up in 2000 and 2001.

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