Former Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhano buys Spanish football club Lagnes

An investment group led by former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhno, who lost his job in baseball following a sign-stealing scandal, has bought Spanish football club Lagnes.

“We will do our best to improve the club,” Luhano said on Thursday after buying a second-division team in Madrid from former owners Victoria Pawan and Felipe Moreno for an undisclosed amount.

Lagnes is a modest club located in the south Madrid neighborhood. The team finished 12th in the 22-team second division 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 discovered that the team had created a sign-stealing scheme using electronics during the 2017 Houston race. The world Series title and again in the 2018 season. Both were then fired in January 2020.

Luhano 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 Mexican club Cancun FC completed its acquisition.

Lagnes has been owned by Pawan and Moreno since 2008, a local couple who took power when the club went into debt and was playing in the third division.

The club was first promoted to the First Division in 2016. He spent four seasons in competition with Spain’s top teams before being relegated. His biggest achievement came in 2017-18 when he beat Real Madrid on their way to the Copa del Rey semifinals.

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Luhano’s conversations with the former owners began in September. He said his group chose Lagnes because they considered Spanish football to have the highest growth potential in the European game, partly because of the league’s tight cost control measures and its recent investment deals with a private equity firm.

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

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

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