Financially beleaguered Spanish soccer club Valencia has been handed a vital boost thanks to a share issue that it hopes will allow it to finance a new bank loan.
The Primera Liga club has raised US$26.5 million through the share issue, with some 26,000 fans buying a stake. It now plans to secure a loan of US$106 million, which it intends to repay with a second share sale.
"The foundation is starting the process of giving the club back to Valencia fans," said a statement on the club website.
The club is one of the most popular in Spain, and reached the Champions League final in both 2000 and 2001. However, the global financial crisis combined with the spiralling costs of building a new stadium and the inability to sell the old stadium have left the club more than US$700 million in debt.