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HomeEconomyFormer Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhno Buys Spanish Football Club Leganes MPNRC
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Former Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhno Buys Spanish Football Club Leganes MPNRC

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An investment group led by former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhno, who lost his job in baseball in the wake of the sign-theft scandal, has bought Spanish football club Leganes.

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“We will do everything we can to make this club better,” Luhno said in Madrid on Thursday after buying a second-tier team from former owners Victoria Pavone and Felipe Moreno for an undisclosed amount.

Leganes is a modest club located in the southern Madrid neighborhood. The team finished 12th in the second division of 22 teams last season.

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Two years ago, Luhno and Astros manager AJ Hinch were suspended for a year by Major League Baseball after it was found that the team had used electronics in Houston’s run to Houston’s 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season. had devised a sign-theft scheme. Later both of them were fired in January 2020.

Luhno is the head of Blue Crow Sports, an investment group that he said 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 was owned since 2008 by Pavan and Moreno, a local duo who took over when the club ran into debt and played in the Third Division.

The club earned promotion to the First Division for the first time in 2016. It lasted four seasons before competing with the top teams in Spain. Its biggest achievement came in 2017-18 when it defeated Real Madrid on its way to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.

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Luhno’s talks began in September with the former owners. He said his group chose Leganes because they believe Spanish football has the greatest growth potential in European sport, partly because of the league’s stringent cost control measures and a recent investment deal with a private equity firm.

As Leganes’ new president, Luhno said his group wants to build out its youth teams, boost its women’s team, and invest in technologies such as the use of big data analytics.

“All sports have used technology to create profits, and that’s what we want to do,” Luhno said in Spanish. “We have a group of people with experience including the Premier League and MLS who know how to use the technology, and Leganes can take advantage of that. Football lags a little behind other sports, but that is about to change in the years to come.

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