Home Sports Luhnow, former general manager of the Astros, leads the purchase of Leganés

Luhnow, former general manager of the Astros, leads the purchase of Leganés

Luhnow, former general manager of the Astros, leads the purchase of Leganés

An investment group led by former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, who was fired from the job over a sign-stealing scandal, has acquired Leganes from Spain’s second-tier soccer team.

“I promise that we are going to make a big effort to improve everything that this club is,” Luhnow said Thursday in Madrid after completing the purchase of Leganés from Victoria Pavón and Felipe Moreno, the previous owners. The amount disbursed was not disclosed.

Leganés is a modest club based in a southern suburb of the Spanish capital. They finished 12th out of 22 teams in the second division championship last season.

Two years ago, Luhnow and Astros manager AJ Hinch were given one-year suspensions by Major League Baseball after it was determined they orchestrated a sign-stealing scheme using electronic devices during Houston’s 2017 World Series-winning season and again in the 2018 season. Both fired in January 2020.

Luhnow heads Blue Crow Sports, a consortium that, according to details, includes investors from the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Canada. At the beginning of the month, Blue Crow Sports acquired the Mexican club Cancún FC.

In December 2008, Moreno and his wife Pavón acquired the club, submerged in debt and playing in the third division.

Leganés experienced an upturn and was promoted to the Spanish division of honor for the first time in 2016. It remained in the first division for four seasons until it was relegated. His great achievement came during the 2017-18 season when he defeated Real Madrid to reach the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.

Luhnow began negotiations with the former owners in September. He explained that they decided on Leganés because they consider that Spanish football has the greatest potential in European football given the strict financial controls in place and the recent agreement signed with the private investment fund CVC Capital Partners.

“Spain is the center of football around the world. It has the best teams in the world and if you are in football you should be in Spain,” Luhnow said. “Within that, Leganés was the best combination of everything we were looking for with the potential to grow because of the people, the municipality, the stadium, the sports city, the connection with the rest of Spain and the proximity to Madrid and airports.”

As the new president of Leganés, Luhnow said that his group wants to put an emphasis on the academy, strengthen the women’s team and invest in technologies to take advantage of analytical information.

“All sports have used technology to create advantages, and we want to do this,” said Luhnow, who grew up in Mexico. “Sometimes it’s the big teams, … but we have an armed group that has experience including the Premier League, Serie A, MLS, who already know what technologies are used and that Leganés can take advantage of. Soccer is a bit behind other sports, but this will change in the coming years.

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