Xerez meets its match as Malaya moves in

LAST UPDATED: 28 Feb, 2008 @ 10:40
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Secret deal comes to light that saw Roca buy into club

THE judge investigating the alleged web of corruption at Marbella town hall has turned his attentions towards a top Andalucía football club.

Óscar Perez is looking into the secretive 2002 purchase of second division Xerez Club Deportivo by Juan Antonio Roca – the former chauffeur turned urban planning chief at the centre of the Malaya investigation.

According to reports, Roca used bribes he had received in his role at the council of the resort town to buy 50 per cent of the Jerez-based club.

The magistrate has implicated in the investigation José María Gil Silgado – the president of the club during Roca’s two-year ownership – and lawyers who mediated in the clandestine deal that only came to light this week.

Amassing a multi-million-euro fortune in only a few years, Roca asked for money in exchange for building permits in a web of corruption that extended to former Marbella mayors, councillors, the construction and bullfighting industries and even the local police force.

This is not the first corruption link between Marbella and football. Roca’s ex-boss was the deceased Jesús Gil y Gil. Not only was he mayor of the town (1991-2002) but also owner of top-flight club Atletico Madrid.

In 2002, Gil was sentenced to six months behind bars and banned from holding public office for 28 years after he channeled 75 million euros of council funds into the football club.
Gil died of a brain hemorrhage in 2004.

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