BBC Sport shed light on Turki Al Sheikh, owner of the Spanish club Almeria, before the upcoming confrontation of his first football team against Barcelona, on Saturday, in the 13th round of the Spanish League.
The site described Almeria as a humble team, before turning into a young and hungry team after it was purchased by Turki Al-Sheikh in 2019, and about that, the site said: “It is fair to say that Almeria was never a star in Spanish football, or large Andalusian clubs such as Malaga. Real Betis and Seville.
The site added: “Almeria spent most of his periods in the minor leagues, with the exception of 4 years in the Spanish League between 2007 and 2011, and this included obtaining eighth place in 2008 under the leadership of coach Unai Emery.”
And that all changed in the summer of 2019 when Almeria, who was swinging in the middle of the second division, was bought for €20m (£17.2m) by Turki Al-Sheikh, who immediately announced his lofty ambitions.
The site reviewed the steps taken by Turki Al-Sheikh to advance the Almeria team, most notably the contracts with prominent players, including the young English international Arvin Appiah for 8 million pounds from Nottingham Forest and the then-unknown young Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez.
The intense moves of Turki Al-Sheikh drew the attention and fans of Almeria club, including the Englishman Tony Brown, who was holding the Almeria season ticket for 5 years. The club was included in the Spanish League and then European football. This is what made people pay attention.”
“He brought in a whole management team to run the club and did a lot of work to modernize the stadium,” Brown added.
He added: “People see a man who keeps his word, doing his best to achieve what he said he would do. He attended a lot of matches wearing the Almeria shirt. When he goes out on the runway, he is always encouraged and his name is chanted.”
According to BB Sport, Turki Al-Sheikh appointed Muhammad Al-Asi as CEO of the club, and entrusted him with the task of daily follow-up in an attempt to prove that the purchase of the Spanish club has nothing to do with the politics of global power.
In this regard, the site quoted statements by Muhammad Al-Asi, who previously worked with Turki Al-Sheikh in the Egyptian Pyramids Club, in which he explained that Turki’s interest in Almeria has nothing to do with the politics of global power, as he told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: “If Saudi Arabia wants to buy a club to display its image They will buy Valencia, not Almeria. This is an individual project.
Al-Assi added: “If I imagine that this is the Almeria project like Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, then this is the joke of the year, and if I am approved by the Saudi government, I will buy Manchester United, and I will not waste my time in the Spanish second division in the hope of getting a promotion I will buy a club For a billion, not 21 million.”
The BBC Sport website indicated the impact of the Corona virus on the work of Turki Al-Sheikh in his first season with Almeria, but the site did not overlook the humanitarian role of the owner of Almeria during the pandemic period, and the large donations of medical equipment to the local hospital in the city, and his contributions to food banks, which made him He captures the hearts and minds of fans on and off the field.
The site saw that the contract with Espanyol coach Francis Ruby and Real Betis constituted a major turning point in the Andalusian club’s career, after the team suffered from fluctuations in level during a period in which five coaches, including Jose Gomez, former English coach of Redding, and Guti, the legend of Real Madrid, succeeded.
Ruby succeeded in fulfilling the first part of Turki Al Sheikh’s pledge – according to the BBC Sport website – when he took him to the Spanish League. The striker, to Real Sociedad.
The site said: “The declining results of Almeria did not affect the confidence of Turki Al-Sheikh in coach Ruby, and the latter rewarded him with three consecutive victories at home, which put the team in thirteenth place before Saturday’s trip to Barcelona.”
BBC Sport compared Turki Al-Sheikh’s attendance at his team’s matches before and after the start of the Riyadh season, explaining that the season, which includes many vibrant cultural events in the Saudi capital, took the time of the owner of Almeria Club, describing him as more than just a prominent figure, as he is A prolific songwriter and poet.
It is clear that Turki is a dynamic person who is not afraid to challenge preconceptions, and it is worth keeping an eye on this fast-growing club.