Mexican magnate Carlos Slim is currently recognised by Forbes magazine as the richest man in the world. Now he has become majority shareholder of the mercurial Spanish club Real Oviedo who have a famed youth academy but have endured several years of financial hardship. Can this be the turning point this club needs?
To many a football fan the name Carlos Slim doesn’t particularly mean much. However the Mexican business magnate is officially the richest man in the world and has been since 2010 with an estimated worth of $75.9 billion. Slim has made a large portion on his fortune through the telecommunication business with Telmex accounting for most if his personal acumen.
So why am I sitting here bleating on about the world’s richest man?
Well recently the 72-year-old Mexican has started to invest in the messy world of sport. In his homeland he has used his America Movil company to buy 30 percent stakes in both Pachuca and Tigres, major clubs in the Mexican top division. Telmex have also recently sponsored the Sauber F1 team while there have been persistent rumours that Slim may indeed look to increase his presence in motorsport by purchasing a team.
His most recent acquisition seems more the quest of a saviour rather than a business man. He has become the majority shareholder of Spanish club Real Oviedo. The Asturian club needed to raise 2 million euros by November 17th in order to avoid liquidation and while many former players such as Premier League stars Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata and Michu delved into their pockets to help their former club, not to mention the wealth of support from footballs fans worldwide, the finances of the mega-rich businessman now effectively makes him the owner of a third tier Spanish side with an impassioned fanbase.
As highlighted before on HITC Real Oviedo are a club of rich history who have helped identify and rear talent among some of the Premier Leagues new and exciting imports at Arsenal, Chelsea and Swansea City.
In recent years however those days have seemed a distant memory with their last season in La Liga coming in 2000-01. There passionate fans will be indebted to the business magnate for effectively saving the club but whether he will be plunging Abramovich like amounts of money in the team is up for debate and it is far more likely this is just another step into the sport market. Using Oviedo’s obvious former glories and Spanish language location is good business for Slim nonetheless it will surely help the performances on the pitch knowing the club is in the hands of the wealthiest man walking the face of the earth.
Along with Mata, Michu and Cazorla the club has also produced the likes of Arsenal target Adrian Lopez and it is good to know this glorious club is now in possibly the safest hands in world finance and can therefore continue to grace us with their conveyor belt of footballing talent.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald