A couple of businessmen of Mexican origin became new owners in Spanish soccer. Their names are Jeff Lunhow Y Jose Luis Orantes, who as of this summer are majority shareholders of Club Deportivo Leganés and Club Deportivo Badajoz, respectively. With them and other names that appear on the radar such as Carlos Slim and Alejandro Irarragorri, Iberian football begins to receive more and more Mexican heads.
In recent months, the interest of Alejandro Irarragorri, head of Grupo Orlegi (owner group of Atlas, Santos Laguna and former Tampico Madero in Mexican soccer), has been handled to acquire a property in Spanish soccer, first by Real Zaragoza and currently the name of Sporting de Gijón sounds, although until June 23 nothing has been finalized.
Those who did manage to confirm their new properties in Spanish soccer are Lunhow and Orantes, with experience in other sports entities inside and outside the Mexican industry.
Jeff Lunhow acquired 99.1% ownership of the Leganes, a club that will play the 2022-23 season in the Second Division of Spain. The shares were acquired through Blue Crow Sport, a consortium that includes investors from the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Canada and in which Lunhow is one of its main heads.
“We visit several countries and markets and Spain is the one with the most growth due to changes in investment by CVC and the economic limit that exists. Spain is the center of soccer around the world, it has the best teams and, if you are into soccer, you must be in Spain. 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”, argued Lunhow.
The 55-year-old engineer was born in Mexico City and through blue crow sport He was also involved with the Houston Astros, where he served as general manager the previous decade. However, Lunhow and former Astros manager AJ Hinch received one-year suspensions from Major League Baseball after it was determined they were responsible for sign theft during Houston’s 2017 World Series-winning campaign.
Lunhow and the blue crow sport They come to replace the Moreno Pavón family, who was the majority shareholder of Leganés since 2008, achieving an unprecedented promotion to the First Division in 2016. This season the team celebrates 94 years of life and therefore business responsibility is important for the new owners.
“If you plan in the short term you will damage yourself in the long run and we are not going to sacrifice the future. We try to go out and win every season because the goal is always to win wherever you are. We know that to be successful in the long term you must have a productive quarry. We will never have the resources of the greats of Spain but we must compete by being agile, smart, working harder and having access to players that the rest do not have”, Lunhow mentioned during his presentation.
While Jeff took possession of Leganés, another Mexican took over at Club Deportivo Badajoz: José Luis Orantes Constanzo, former owner of lower division clubs in Mexico such as Altamira, Cafetaleros de Tapachula (with whom he became champion of the extinct Liga de Ascenso MX ) and Cancun FC.
Through the Atlantis Group, Orantes Constanzo acquired 60% of Badajoz, a club also in the Second Division in Iberian football, where the presidency will remain in the hands of Luis Díaz Ambrona and the general management with Leonardo Casanova, another member of Mexican origin. The Oliver Group (of Spanish origin) will maintain the remaining 40% of the property.
“The objective is clear, that CD Badajoz is in the place it deserves, with new investors who will work with great humility; For this, we ask for the vote of confidence from the fans, ”said the Mexican businessman José Luis Orantes during his presentation to the Spanish team.
In addition to Lunhow, Orantes and Irarragorri’s transcendent interest in Spanish soccer, another Mexican name has been added in the last seven years, which is that of businessman Carlos Slim, who since 2015 acquired a percentage of ownership with Real Oviedo, a team that will compete in the 2022-23 campaign in the Second Division.
In 2018, one more ambassador was added with Mauricio García De la Vega, who that year paid around two million euros to keep 84% of the ownership of Real Murcia, a team that played in Second Division B (third in level of hierarchy) in Spanish football. García De la Vega is the owner of the Icon Star company and before that he had already tried to acquire Osasuna.