Mario Kempes backs Valencia despite losing ambassador role

Former Argentina great Mario Kempes will not stop supporting his old club Valencia despite the outfit's decision not to renew his contract as an international ambassador.

Kempes announced on his Twitter account that he had been notified that he was no longer a Valencia CF ambassador, a role he had been given in September 2013 and which had expired on December 2016.

Kempes, who played a total of seven years in two spells at the Mestalla stadium, starting in 1976, told Onda Cero radio: "I have stopped being a Valencia ambassador through contract but not through the heart.

"Nothing changes, I still feel the same for this team. They sent [Valencia marketing director] Damia [Vidagany] to let me know that I was no longer an ambassador but it shouldn't have been him. The bosses should have shown their faces," he said.

"The reason they have given me for this decision is the long distance but I'm an international ambassador so it's obvious that I live overseas."

An ESPN football analyst and commentator, Kempes resides in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Valencia-based newspaper Levante reported that the 62-year-old Kempes was withdrawn from the position because Valencia owner Peter Lim had grown weary of the Argentinian expressing his disapproval about how the club was being run.

Kempes took to Twitter following Valencia's 4-0 home defeat to Eibar on Saturday and wrote: "Gentlemen, unfortunately we are in the presence of a team that is lost. There is no game, no direction and little will."

Earlier this season, Kempes had questioned Valencia's "lack of projects" but had offered his services to coach after a dismal start to the campaign under former coach Pako Ayestaran.

"In the three years that I've been ambassador, I've never been asked for advice," Kempes said. "It has been a year since Lim has travelled to Valencia, and what type of owner does not go where his business is? Unfortunately, the sporting side is what it is."

Six-time Spanish champions Valencia are in 16th place in La Liga with 19 points from 20 games.

Salvador "Voro" Gonzalez, a former Valencia player, took charge of the club until the end of the season after Cesare Prandelli resigned on Dec. 30. Prandelli had been Valencia's ninth coach since 2012.

Last month, Valencia attempted to strengthen the squad with the loan signings of Italian forward Simone Zaza from Juventus and Chile winger Fabian Orellana from Celta Vigo.

Kempes, who won a Copa del Rey, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and a UEFA Super Cup during his first stint with Los Che, does not believe the club is in danger of relegation.

"It has been a while since we have seen the Valencia we know," he said. "But I don't believe they are in danger of relegation.

"I do believe they have to start planning for next season, who will stay and who will arrive."

Valencia, six points clear of the drop zone, play at Real Betis on Saturday.