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Former Astros chief executive Jeff Luhnow buys Spanish football club Leganes


An investment group led by former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, who lost his baseball job for stealing signs, has bought Spanish soccer club Leganes.

“We will do everything we can to improve this club,” Luhnow told Madrid on Thursday after buying the second-division side for an undisclosed sum from former owners Victoria Pavon and Felipe Moreno.

Leganes are a modest club based in a southern district of Madrid. The team finished 12th in the 22-team Second Division last season.

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Two years ago, Luhnow and Astros manager AJ Hinch were suspended for a year by Major League Baseball after being found guilty of designing a sign-stealing system that used electronics during the Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season. They were both subsequently fired in January 2020.

Luhnow heads Blue Crow Sports, an investment group he says includes investors from the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Canada. Earlier this month, Blue Crow Sports completed its acquisition of Mexican club Cancun FC.

Leganes had been owned since 2008 by Pavon and Moreno, a local couple who took over when the club was in debt and playing in the third division.

The club were promoted to the First Division for the first time in 2016. They spent four seasons competing with Spain’s top teams before being relegated. The club’s biggest achievement came in 2017-18 when they beat Real Madrid en route to reaching the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Luhnow talks began with the former owners in September. He said his group chose Leganes because they see Spanish football as having the greatest potential for growth in the European game, partly because of the league’s strict cost control measures and its recent investment deal with a private equity firm.

As Leganes’ new president, Luhnow said his group wants to build their youth teams, promote their women’s team and invest in technology such as the use of big data analytics.

“All sports have used technology to create advantages, and that’s what we want to do,” Luhnow said. “We have a group of experienced people, especially 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 years to come. . years.”

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