A Qatari royal and his family spent millions of Malaga FC’s funds on high-performance cars and luxury properties, leaving the Spanish club on the brink of collapse.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani, who bought the team in 2010 for €36 million ($43.7m), now owes the club €8.5m, a Spanish court ruled.
Papers reveal the money was spent on personal luxuries including flights, properties, holidays, hotels and chauffeur-driven cars.
This left Malaga, which reached the Champions League quarter-finals after his investment, facing bankruptcy and collapse after relegation from La Liga in 2018.
The long-suffering fans this month claimed a small victory in their fight to salvage their club, when Malaga City Council stripped Sheikh Abdullah’s name from the stadium’s roundabout and renamed it the 'Roundabout of the Malaguista' after the supporters.
Culture and Sports Minister Noelia Losada tweeted that it was a “well-deserved change of name to reward those who really feel the colours of Malaga CF”.
The roundabout was repeatedly daubed with graffiti by disgruntled fans upset with Sheikh Abdullah’s management.
Dawn raids in January seized computers and evidence relating to the case.
The Association of Small Shareholders of Malaga CF (APA) filed a complaint against Sheikh Abdullah for “improper management, misappropriation of funds, and imposition of abusive corporate agreements”.
A judge in September placed an €8 million bond on the businessman, with failure to pay meaning his shares in the club would be seized.
Sheikh Abdullah and his sons Nasser, Nayef, and Rakkan were dismissed from their roles as president and members of the board of directors.
The court appointed judicial administrator Jose Maria Munoz temporarily in his place. APA president Antonio Aguilera said Sheikh Abdullah no longer has control of the club.
"We had evidence that they were taking the money from Malaga. Malaga paid for everything from Al Thani (house, private security, cars ...). We decided to file a criminal complaint against Al Thani and his son," he told Tribuna Deportiva radio.
“He (Al Thani) left the club on the verge of disappearance. If the judge had not intervened, appointing a judicial administrator, Malaga CF would have disappeared on April 30.
“The sheikh no longer has anything to do with Malaga.”
British accountancy firm Ernst & Young last year warned the club it had “significant doubts” it could “continue as a functioning company” based on its monetary position after reviewing its accounts.
The club suffered a huge loss after being relegated, losing €43m in media revenues.
Sheikh Abdullah tweeted a cryptic message this month thanking fans for their support, sparking hopes among some that he would be selling his shares.
The Malaga incident is the latest scandal to hit Qatar’s global footballing aspirations ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
This year, PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi was cleared after being caught up in a Fifa corruption scandal.