MADRID. An investment group led by former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Lunow, who lost his job in baseball for stealing signs, bought the Spanish football club Leganes.
“We will do our best to improve this club,” Lukhnov said in Madrid on Thursday after buying the second division side for an undisclosed amount from previous owners Victoria Pavon and Felipe Moreno.
Leganes is a modest club based in the southern district of Madrid. Last season, the team finished 12th in the second division out of 22 teams.
Two years ago, Lukhnov and Astros manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for one year by Major League Baseball after it was discovered that he had developed an electronic sign theft scheme during Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season. of the year. They were both subsequently fired in January 2020.
Lukhnov heads the Blue Crow Sports investment group, which he says includes investors from the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Canada. Earlier this month, Blue Crow Sports completed the acquisition of Mexican club Cancun FC.
Leganes has been owned since 2008 by Pavon and Moreno, a local couple who took over when the club was deep in debt and playing in the third division.
The club was promoted to the first division for the first time in 2016. He spent four seasons competing against the top teams in Spain before being relegated. His biggest achievement came in the 2017-18 season when he beat Real Madrid en route to the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
Lukhnov’s negotiations with the former owners began in September. He said his group chose Leganes because they believe Spanish football has the most growth potential in the European game, due in part to the league’s tight spending controls and its recent investment deal with a private equity firm.
As the new president of Leganes, Luhnow said his group wants to build its youth teams, promote its women’s team, and invest in technologies such as using big data analytics.
“All sports use technology to create advantages and that is what we want to do,” Lukhnov said in Spanish. “We have a group of people with experience, including the Premier League and MLS, who know how to use technology and Leganes can take advantage of that. Football is a bit behind other sports… but that will change in the coming years.”
Former Astros general manager Lukhnov buys Spanish football club Leganés originally appeared on NBCSports.com