Former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow's Investment Group Buys Spanish Soccer Team Leganes

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 23, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24:  President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow of the Houston Astros talks to the media during the press conference during the World Series Workout Day at Nationals Park on Thursday, October 24, 2019 in Washington, District of Columbia. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

An investment group led by former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has purchased Spanish soccer club Leganes.

Blue Crow Sports Group bought 99.1 percent of the Madrid-based team in a move announced Thursday.

Leganes finished 12th in La Liga 2, the country's second tier, last season. The club was 27 points off an automatic promotion place and 14 points behind sixth-place Girona, which sealed the last berth in the promotion playoffs and eventually qualified for the top division.

Luhnow tempered expectations early on but made it clear earning a place in La Liga is the goal.

"Success is not measured over the short term. We will not sacrifice the future for the present," he told reporters at a press conference announcing the purchase, per The Athletic's Dermot Corrigan.

"That does not mean we will not try and win every game, the challenge is also every year is to win every league we are in. So we aim to get promotion this year, and then set a challenge for the next season."

Leganes was promoted to La Liga thanks to a runner-up finish in La Liga 2 in 2015-16. The club struggled to remain there, narrowly avoiding relegation in 2016-17 and 2017-18 by winding up 17th in the table.

A 13th-place showing followed in 2018-19 before an 18th-place effort the following year saw the club return to La Liga 2.

Corrigan praised the overall structure of Leganes preceding Blue Crow Sports Group's arrival: "Leganes are widely seen as one of the best-run clubs in Spanish football, with a strong financial situation built under previous president Victoria Pavon and her husband Felipe Moreno, who took over when the club was bankrupt and in the third tier in 2008."

That will certainly be beneficial as Luhnow and his group look to take Leganes further.

This represents arguably Luhnow's biggest splash in the sports world since his firing by the Astros in January 2020. As the team's GM, he was implicated in the team's sign-stealing scandal and handed a one-year suspension by MLB.