If you believe some of the rumours circulating in Spain about Malaga it seems like the Qatari owners bought the club and then made a lot of noise about making them the next Chelsea etc. as they wanted this to help them get approval from the regional authority to build a new marina. Having got the approval they are now trying to cut loose from the club.
I dont know how much truth there is to this, but what we are seeing now does seem to add weight to the allegations. Something has clearly gone very wrong at Malaga recently. There were reports of player unrest then Cazorla hands in a transfer request. Last season (prior to that marina approval) there was a lot of money being invested into signings but this year so far not a penny has been spent. In fact, the owners have even stopped paying outstanding club debts and a sale is said to be imminent.
When they were buying players, they went for a lot of aging stars too...van nistleroy, joaquin, baptista, demichelis etc who have either left or are on big contracts and looking well past their best.
Basically, the club is a total mess. Not chance of a challenge to the big two from them (or sadly from anyone else either).
Until the financial inequality is sorted in La Liga the gap frmo Barca/Real to the rest will remain scandalously huge. In fact, seeing as teams like Atletico and Valencia are being forced to sell star players this summer the gap might even get bigger.