Gary Neville’s Salford City co-owner Peter Lim has come under heavy protest from fans at his other club Valencia who left the stadium deserted for their season finale.
Striking footage showed an almost empty Mestalla surrounded by thousands of angry fans who abandoned their pitch in a 2-0 win against Celta Vigo.
Despite the win, the former Champions League regulars will be without European football for the third consecutive season, finishing ninth this campaign.
The protest was one of many against the Singapore tycoon’s property, which began in 2014, and saw the six-time La Liga winners gradually decline to mediocrity.
Valencian sports daily Super Deporte compared the scenes to European Super League protests and explained why silence speaks louder than words.
“The most important sounds of all were missing,” the report said. “And, while Mestalla remained silent, Valencia fans spoke loud and clear.”
Lim and his family have even taken to walking around the city with bodyguards in view of the multiplying “LIM GO HOME” banners.
The same year Lim became majority owner of Valencia, he also bought a 40% stake in League Two side Salford alongside former Manchester United players such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham.
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One such player, Sky Sports presenter Gary Neville, even managed the team in 2015 despite having no head coaching experience. Neville was sacked after registering just three wins in 16 league games.
Valencia enjoyed a high in 2019 winning the Copa del Rey and finishing fourth under coach Marcelino, but both he and director of football Mateu Alemany were subsequently sacked.
Following these bizarre decisions, things turned sour, and in July 2020, Lim’s socialite daughter posted a message on Instagram, saying, “The club is ours, and we can do whatever we want with it. “
Since then, Valencia have sold around £81m worth of players and spent just £14m.
Valencia also changed managers at a pace similar to Watford, but the coaches left of their own accord rather than being sacked, claiming broken promises.
Even former midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia hit on Instagram when he was sold to Atletico Madrid.
“First destroyed an ambitious project, then betrayed my coach and now me too. Thanks, [club chairman] Anil Murthy,” the France international wrote in 2020.
Despite the gradual decline, Lim and the Meriton holding company have continually expressed that they have no desire to sell the club, but more recent events may well have changed that.