MADRID - Valencia president Vicente Soriano resigned on Thursday as the dire financial problems facing the club made it more likely that players such as forward David Villa and midfielder David Silva would be sold. Soriano has been trying to sell the land on which Valencia's stadium the Mestalla is built to help finance a move to a new venue that is under construction. They defaulted on payments to the squad and to the company building the new stadium during last season, and are reported by Spanish media to have debts of over 450 million euro. "As you all know from the day I took the presidency (last July) I have been fighting for the economic and sporting viability of this club," Soriano told a news conference. "Although there was an ongoing negotiation I haven't been able to fully complete the deal, therefore it is only logical I go." He blamed the current economic climate for his failure to close an agreement within time limits laid down by the board, but said he was leaving with a clear conscience. "I managed to hang on to Villa and Silva, and one year further on I am sure that if my successors want to sell them they will be worth much more than 12 months ago," he added. "Without them we would have had serious problems on the pitch and we wouldn't be back in Europe again. "I won't be the one to dismantle this team. Selling our stars may fill one or two gaps but it won't sort out the institution." Valencia finished sixth in the Primera Liga to qualify for the Europa League but Spain internationals Villa, Silva, Raul Albiol and Juan Mata, among others, may have to be sold to finance their debts. Media speculation has linked the players with moves to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in the past few days.
4 June 2009
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