Ex-Astros GM fired over sign-stealing scandal co-buys Spanish soccer club

Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow (R) embraces pitcher Justin Verlander in 2019 after the team clinched the American League West Division and a berth in the Major League Baseball postseason. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo

June 23 (UPI) — Jeff Luhnow, the former general manager of the Houston Astros who was fired during the club’s sign-stealing scandal in 2020, is leading a group of investors who bought Spanish soccer club CD Leganes on Thursday.

Luhnow heads the Blue Crow Sports Group, which was introduced in Spain as the soccer club’s new owners. The group is buying the club from Victoria Pavon and Felipe Moreno.

“We have a great responsibility just on the day of the 94th anniversary of this club,” Luhnow said in a statement released by the club. “I represent a group of very serious people, in love with the sport.

“What we want is to make Leganes grow and to continue what Felipe and Victoria have done in these 14 years.”

Luhnow won a World Series title as general manager of the Astros in 2017, but later came under scrutiny when it was discovered that the team had illegally stolen opponents’ pitching signs that season and in 2018. He was ultimately fired — along with Astros manager A.J. Hinch — and later sued the Astros for $22 million. The Astros owner acknowledged that both men didn’t start the team’s sign-stealing, but said they also didn’t do anything about it.

“We have had many groups interested in taking over this great project, but Jeff and his group gave me a lot of confidence,” Moreno said in a statement on Thursday. “I think the club is in very good hands. We have offered to help them in everything they ask of us, and here we are.”

The former baseball GM said that he’s new to soccer, but brings a lot of enthusiasm to the sport. He also noted that the ownership group has a broad range of experiences.

“We are from all over the world, but we are united by our love for the sport, for making things grow and for winning,” Luhnow added. “The reason why we are in the sport is that we love to win.

“I know it’s a feeling that can’t be applied to other parts of life, its something that is shared and it’s what we’re going to fight for.

Luhnow, 56, said Blue Crow Sports has its hand in various sports and knows how to put together a winning team.

“We are going to make a big effort to improve this club,” he said.

The New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres (L-R), Aaron Hicks, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Aaron Judge and Joey Gallo celebrate a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on June 22, 2022. Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI | License Photo

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