When José María del Nido took over as president of Sevilla Football Club in May 2002, he promised to “clean up the accounts and win trophies.” That he certainly did, through astute transfer business that balanced the books and reaped six titles. On Monday, Del Nido bade farewell to the club at a press conference after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction for embezzlement and perverting the course of justice in the so-called Minutas case, in which Del Nido and jailed former Marbella mayor Julián Muñoz systematically overbilled the town authorities for services.
First team and youth players, coaches, staff, family members and former players were on hand to offer Del Nido support, while around 200 fans outside the stadium shouted insults and displayed a giant banner reading: “Corruption, get out of Sevilla.”
“I have made a mistake because I have damaged Sevilla Football Club,” Del Nido said at the emotional news conference. José Castro, the club’s vice-president, will stand in as acting president until a shareholder’s meeting next week where he will either be ratified or not. “We have created the structures to ensure that Sevilla will resist this blow,” Del Nido added.
Del Nido, a lawyer by trade, joined Sevilla as a director in 1986 and was later named vice-president, a post he was forced to give up when the club was relegated to Segunda B in 1995 for financial irregularities. He returned seven years later and oversaw Sevilla’s most successful period in history.