Seizure looms large over Cadiz CF’s new big investment

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Several months after Delphi announced the layoffs and sacking of 1,600 workers in the Bay of Cádiz, it seemed that time had not passed by the exterior of the automobile factory. It took eight years for the dandelion to take over the factory’s pristine gardens and that was back in 2016, when it had become a living image of the social and economic desolation that had already begun with the 2007 lockdown. Due to vegetation and corrosion, the land was left to its fate by 25 March, with the Cádiz Football Club announcing the purchase of the biggest symbol of Cádiz’s industrial failure to build the sport’s technical city. But the project was born under the shadow of an imminent ownership that would turn the football team’s great investment into a complicated lawsuit—presumably, judicial—with the port of Cádiz.

It is also not necessary to wait long for investment to go wrong. This Wednesday, exactly 12 days after the announcement, the Official State Gazette (BOE) has published the new Delimitation of Port Spaces and Uses (DEUP)—signed by the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez—that converts Delphi and other adjacent land to logistics. Spaces in the public domain to harbor for purposes. According to a statement published after the publication of the BOE, this change of use is an initial step in a forfeiture process that Cadiz CF has already said will “appeal” to the ministry. However, sources close to the Port Authority of the Gulf of Cádiz (APBC) assured that “there is not much room for maneuver”, other than the land grabbing by them. “There is a transit of a few months. It entails a forfeiture for fair value through an agreement with the owner. If no settlement is reached, it will be necessary to resort to judicial arbitration,” said the same person, referring to a lawsuit that will apparently already go against its new owner, the soccer club.

The truth is that the setback did not take Cadiz CF by surprise, but that the unit “has been aware of the situation at all times”, as also noted in the same statement. In fact, APBC has already informed Cadiz’s number one mercantile court on two occasions—in charge of the Delphi bankruptcy process—about the land reserve that was weighed on land located at the Trocadero industrial estate in Puerto Real, some such that it was even transmitted to the club at the time of signing the deeds, according to which Chen Bei, The interest of the Cádiz port began in 2017 with the first purchase talks between APBC and Delphi’s bankruptcy administrator, Adalberto Canadas, which did not bear fruit due to the sale price. Puerto del Estado authorized Cádiz Infrastructure to offer approximately 2.8 million euros for the 266,761 square meters of the factory, based on an appraisal made by the State Real Estate Heritage Management Company. But the administrator—the manager of the loan of close to 10 million euros—rejected the offer threefold, as the appraisal made at his request marked a much higher amount: 6.7 million euros.

Given the lack of agreement, the port of Cádiz began a forced confiscation process in 2019, which the new DEUP implies, justified by the exhaustion of port land that damages infrastructure and which allows them to grow in the industrial area of ​​La Cabezuela. Will stop , It has not been an easy process. After various reports and deadlines – for public display or utility justification – the minister’s signature represents a change in use for the public port, for a block comprising 40 hectares, of the Delphi surface and other surrounding land. Among the 166,462 square meters, apart from forfeiture, is a difficult combination with the project intended by Cadiz. “This is logistics land and does not fit your project”, indicates the same source close to APBC, referring to a new area that aims to connect by railway to Las Aletas station.

The wives of Delphi workers, at a rally at its entrance in Puerto Real, after the factory's closure was announced in 2007.
The wives of Delphi workers, at a rally at its entrance in Puerto Real, after the factory’s closure was announced in 2007.EFE

And they are not the only doubts that surround the project sportec city, despite the triumphantism shown by club president Manuel Vizcano during his presentation on 28 March. In the presentation of the project, Cadiz did not want to clarify how much of the sales operation had been closed, nor the timeline for execution. However, these days it has become known that the entity paid EUR 2.7 million, which is slightly less than what APBC had given to the bankruptcy administrator and which they declined. In addition, the Puerto Real City Council confirmed to EL PAS that on 23 March it had already received a further 1.7 million euros that were owed as IBI, an essential requirement to sell the property for free. . What was mentioned in the presentation is that the total investment in this sports city – space for technology companies and training camps or events – would be around 100 million euros. The money would come from British fund CVC, following an agreement reached by LaLiga, whereby affiliated clubs would share up to €1,994 million in exchange for 8.2 per cent of profits from the competition’s marketing.

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The management of these funds has generated various doubts, as reported in the local press, when Vizcano announced that the project would materialize with investment fund Gads Sport Technology, which would be managed by the company Mar Oceana Venture Capital Investments Sejic, SA. As registered on 15 November with a share capital of 150,000 euros and with headquarters in an important complex on Los Moros Street in El Puerto de Santa María. The address coincides with Social Moving SL, an electric motorcycle rental company that declared bankruptcy last summer with six million euros in debt and whose fleet of 200 vehicles ended up at a site in Cadiz’s Zona Franca. as disclosed by the media. voice of cadiz,

Los Moros Road was also the direction of Velocipedo Torot, SL, a company that had promised to invest 16 million in the manufacture of electric motorcycles in Cádiz, until the firm changed hands and its new administrator considered that the project was economic. was utterly unforgivable. After these two failures, the name of businessman Rafael Contreras, the current vice president of Cádiz CF, is attached. In fact, Contreras’ associates have appeared on the board of directors of Mar Oceana since Carbers’ presidency—today, Synthetic—, a company he founded and chaired, until he removed a new one from its board of directors in December 2020. Stepped down to focus on the carbon fiber shin guard firm. Even the organization that bought the Delphi land, Indenspo, is linked to Manuel Ignacio Díaz Charlo, a trusted man of Contreras, and who is linked to companies such as Social Moving.

In Technical City’s presentation, Contreras himself was in charge of breaking down the portion of the project and indicating the total investment it should include. Enthusiastic, Vizcano went further and showed his confidence that his sportec city It will become “one of the commercial engines for creating jobs and value in the province of Cádiz”. Following the announcement, politicians of both color and various administrations have raced to assess the perceived investment that is to come with more or less enthusiasm. Faced with so much terminology, the port announced on Wednesday that the new DEUP marks the beginning of land acquisition. Faced with this, Cádiz assures that he continues with his plan. Legal conflict seems inevitable. Meanwhile, dandelions, frescoes and broken windows in Delphi speak to an already industrial failure that remains unsolved 15 years later.

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