Turki Al-Sheikh lifts the lid on his relationship with Al Ahly board
The chairman of Saudi Sports Authority Turki Al-Sheikh has revealed several issues related to the period he spent as Cairo giants Al Ahly’s honourary president.
Al-Sheikh was given the symbolic role following the election of the Al Ahly legend Mahmoud El-Khatib as the Red Castle’s president in December.
The Saudi official had pledged to support Al Ahly financially and contribute, along with a set of Arab investors, to construct a massive stadium project with a presentation press conference taking place in December.
However, Al Ahly’s relationship with Al-Sheikh had been subject to few crises throughout the five months which ultimately drove the latter to step down from his role and announce the motives behind his decision.
Al-Sheikh stated in a thorough statement on his Facebook page that El-Khatib asked him to sign either Ismaily’s Mohamed Awad or Zamalek’s Ahmed El-Shennawy for the goalkeeper position, and that he indeed met with El-Shennawy to negotiate with him but was surprised to find Bibo contacting him later on to retract his decision, justifying that the player is from Portsaid and it would be difficult for Al Ahly fans to accept him.
Another matter of conflict was claimed by Al-Sheikh which is the contract renewals of Ahmed Fathi and Abdallah El-Said. He stated that Bibo asked him to withdraw from this issue before requesting his urgent interference the other day as he fears losing the international duo to arch-rivals Zamalek, the thing which concluded by the pair agreeing new contracts.
He also explained that Fathi and El-Said told him Al Ahly wanted them to sign on blank contracts but they wanted to ensure their future with their footballing careers coming close to an end.
Furthermore, the 36-year-old administrator also disclosed about Al Ahly’s new coach affair, mentioning that El-Khatib told him that him and the Red Devils coach back then Hossam El-Badry have the intention to part company and his desire to hire a foreign coach worthy of Al Ahly’s level.
Al-Sheikh confirmed that him and Bibo found consensus on the name of Argentine manager Ramon Diaz. His son Emiliano arrived in Egypt and negotiations were near conclusion with a positive outcome, per Al-Sheikh, before his name was leaked to the media via former Al Ahly goalkeeper and current TV presenter Ahmed Shobier despite the former agreement to keep things low profile.
Moreover, El-Khatib had made up his mind about hiring Diaz and opted for another Czech manager, rumored to be Pavel Vrba, and an authorization was given from Al Ahly president to enter talks with him, according to Al-Sheikh.
He also revealed the famous top four signings he uncovered few months ago which were set to be Zamalek’s Ali Gabr, Stoke City’s Ramadan Sobhi, Atletico Miniero’s Rómulo Otero and Palmeiras forward Marcos da Silva França, known as Keno.
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