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Miguel Ángel Gil reportedly preparing to sell Atlético shares

The club has been in the Gil family for 35 years.

‘Tecnologia Y Deporte’ Forum in Madrid
Gil (left) has been Atlético’s chief executive since 1993 and the majority shareholder since 2004.
Photo by Samuel de Roman/WireImage

A report this week in Spanish newspaper Voz Pópuli says Atlético Madrid CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín is getting ready to relinquish his stake in the club and pave the way for new ownership.

The outlet says 59-year-old Gil is “taking the first steps” toward selling his Atlético shares, as he’s reportedly approached international investment banks to gauge the club’s value and sound out potential buyers.

Voz Pópuli has also reported this week that Atleti are being valued at a minimum €750 million. This is being regarded as a “reasonable” price given the club’s longstanding debts and pandemic-driven revenue decline.

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

As an emergency measure to combat that sharp revenue drop, Gil and club president Enrique Cerezo converted their shares into a holding company in 2021, with help from a US-based investment firm. Israeli businessman Idan Ofer holds the remaining shares (32 percent) through his firm, Quantum Pacific Group.

Gil’s father, Jesús, became Atlético’s president in 1987. The elder Gil fraudulently acquired 95 percent of the club’s shares in 1992 (with Cerezo’s help) and oversaw the team’s famous league-cup double four years later — as well as its shocking relegation from LaLiga in 2000.

During this time, Spain’s Fiscalía Anticorrupción challenged Jesús Gil’s ownership, but the case became tied up in the courts. Upon his father’s death in 2004, Miguel Ángel Gil officially became the majority stakeholder and was permitted to keep his family’s shares, as a Spanish court ruled the statute of limitations on the “Caso Atlético” had expired.

The younger Gil recently said he would not be in charge of an Atlético de Madrid that did not have Diego Pablo Simeone as its coach. The reports this week seemingly make clear that intention — to get out while the getting’s good. There could be a lot of changes taking place at the Cívitas Metropolitano in the next 12 months — and they might start at the very top.