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When football administrators end up in prison - the ongoing case of Racing de Santander’s former managers

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By Álvaro Gómez de la Vega

Racing de Santander has been a historical football team within the Spanish football and has had to deal with some difficult periods in the last 20 years. There have been questionable and poor decisions making from management for the Club both at a sporting and at a business level. The Club went from playing in European competitions to play in third division in under 5 years.

The repetitive sales of the club’s shares, altering its ownership and management, and the continuous changes in the club’s structure placed Racing de Santander into a crisis from which it is still recovering.  

On 28 October 2011, Racing de Santander lived through one of its worst moments when all the Board Members resigned (with the exception of the President: Mr. Ahsan Ali Syed) and, one month later, the coach followed the others.[1] Afterwards, the Club lost its the category during that season 2011/2012 and would be once again relegated to third division on season 2012/2013.

In 2019, Racing de Santander got promoted to LaLiga Smartbank (Spanish 2nd Division) for the 2019/2020 sporting season. Despite this amazing recovery, the team were relegated that season and are now in the third division. To add their sorrows, there has been controversies with former owners such as Dimitri Piterman[2] or Ahsan Ali Syed[3] and Francisco Pernía, the President of the Board of Directors and CEO (2006-2011) which has led to criminal proceedings against them. However, despite this turmoil the Club has manged to find some stability with new management, professional structure and the gaining back the support of fans and city. [4]

This article analyses the ongoing criminal proceedings that are currently under judicial review in connection with Mr. Pernía’s administration.

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About the Author

Álvaro Gómez de la Vega

Álvaro Gómez de la Vega

Sports Legal Manager, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona S.A.D. 

Álvaro is an in-house lawyer at RCD Espanyol de Barcelona S.A.D and is responsible for all sporting legal matters relating to the men's, women's and youth teams. 

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