Soriano was fined £8.6m for his part in the collapse of defunct airline Spanair, who he was chairman of when they went bankrupt.Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano is free to practise business in Spain again after having the judgement condemning his “mismanagement” of Spanair’s bankruptcy overturned.
Soriano, the former chairman of the defunct airline, was fined €10.8million (£8.6million) in 2014 and banned from “managing other people’s wealth” for two years, along with other board members, after they delayed filing for bankruptcy as the company’s losses mounted.
The airline eventually went bust in January 2012 when the local government withdrew its economic support, but judges have now annulled a verdict that Soriano and fellow executives were “culpable” in the delay.
The defence of Spanair’s former board was that they were in discussions with Qatar Airways over a capital injection that would have saved the ailing airline. While the board were supposed to have declared the company bankrupt after two months of insolvency, Spanair’s advisors are believed to have known as long as six months before the January filing that the company was defaulting and carried on issuing tickets.
However, appeal judges have this week concluded that there an intent to save the company and that the bankruptcy was “fortuitous”.Barcelona were keen to take Soriano and City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain back to the Nou Camp last January in the wake of Andoni Zubizarreta’s departure but were put off by the delay of the appeal and instead hired Robert Fernandez.
Sources close to Soriano insist he is very happy in Manchester regardless and considers the City Football Group to be the most exciting football project on the planet.