Exclusive: Valencia legend Claramunt backs Lim after controversial offseason

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Pep Claramunt believes the fallout after comments made by the daughter of Valencia owner Peter Lim was 'blown out of proportion by the media'.

Kim Lim - the Singaporean billionaire's daughter - posted on Instagram after the sacking of Albert Celades in July - the club's sixth coach in as many years.

"Here again. Some Valencia CF fans are scolding and cursing at my family and I," Kim wrote in a post which was later deleted.

"Don't they get it? The club is ours and we can do anything we want with it and no one can say anything."

The comments were met with furious outrage from Valencianistas, but Claramunt believes they might have been taken out of context.

"Unfortunately, I think the tone of her words comes across as 'off' to some people and it comes off badly (in print) and was seen as harsh and overly defensive by some people," he told Tribalfootball.com.

"However, I think that perhaps the words were taken out of context. Any son or daughter whose father is being criticised, a father who is investing a lot of their own money in something, is going to react and defend their father perhaps more with their hearts rather than just their heads.

"I don't think she meant to sound so dismissive of Valencia CF and their fans, it was a personal reaction that was perhaps blown out of proportion by the media."

Tension between Lim and the club's supporters have reached fever pitch this summer.

The club sold long-term captain Dani Parejo and midfielder Francis Coquelin to league rivals Villarreal, while talented youngster Ferran Torres and Rodrigo departed for Manchester City and Leeds United, respectively.

Critics of Lim have questioned his leadership and plans for the club, especially after Los Che finished a disappointing 9th last season.

There are few people alive who know Valencia better than 74-year-old Claramunt, who made 381 appearances in 12 seasons for his boyhood side.

The former Spain international does not believe Lim wants Valencia to fail, pointing to the club's achievements since he became primary owner in 2014.

"Valencia was bankrupt and in desperate need of an investor when Lim took over. Sporting success depends on a number of factors…including the technical direction and the response of the players in any given season.

"There has been success with the winning of the Copa del Rey last year and also qualifying for the Champions League, over a number of years, since Lim took over.

He added: "Valencia CF is a great club and it is in Lim's interest that they do consistently well in Europe, it's good for his other businesses too as it is good publicity for him in general. He wants Valencia to do well.

"When I was a player at Valencia CF, there were epochs of winning Leagues and Cups but there were also periods when we were finishing merely 7th or 8th in La Liga.

"The current economic conditions of not being in Europe for the coming season and the COVID effect of no fans at the stadium are not favourable for Valencia CF at all… and are clearly factors to be taken into account too, in terms of Valencia's capabilities for the current future."

Lim also received immense backlash after his dismissal of Marcelino in September 2019.

Marcelino took Valencia to consecutive top-four finishes and won the Copa del Rey in 2019, their first trophy in eleven years.

But he was replaced by Albert Celades in a decision that infuriated not only the fans but the Valencia playing squad.

However, Claramunt thinks that Lim sacked Marcelino as he was not satisfying his direction of playing the club's young players.

"His dismissal proves that nobody is indispensable at Valencia. Marcelino did a good job at Valencia but he didn't believe in playing the youngsters of the 'cantera' like Soler and Ferran Torres in the first team that much.

"These players had proved themselves on an international level for the Spain (under 20's) national side. They deserved to be playing in the elite on a club level but Marcelino didn't want to give them much of a chance and the same goes for the Korean player Kang-In Lee, hardly playing at all for the first team.

"Peter Lim was investing in a team with the hope that players from Valencia's academy coming up the ranks were going to be given a chance to play in the first team. But Marcelino didn't see eye-to-eye with Lim about his vision, so there was a clash there… that grew over time. Marcelino stuck to his guns and Lim lost patience with the manager when he saw that Marcelino was not going to change his plans for the team and was becoming outspoken about it too."