World's richest man saves Spanish soccer club

    Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim invested in Real Oviedo after fans came close to reaching required fundraising targets.

    Story highlights

    • Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim invests $2.5 million in struggling Spanish club
    • Slim was impressed by efforts of fans who bought shares to save Real Oviedo
    • The third division club had a November 17 deadline to avoid extinction
    • Slim plans to create "synergies between Spanish, Mexican and Latin American football"
    Real Madrid and Barcelona both comfortably won on Saturday, but for once Spain's two most dominant football clubs were overshadowed by a third-tier team which has been saved from extinction after receiving a huge injection of cash from the world's richest man, Carlos Slim.
    Just over a decade ago Real Oviedo played in La Liga alongside Real and Barca, but mismanagement from the club's directors took the Asturian team to the brink of bankruptcy in recent years.
    Needing to raise €1.9 million ($2.4 million) by November 17 or go bust, Oviedo's current board announced a share issue earlier this month to attract investment.
    Remarkably the scheme took off as fans from all over the world bought the €11 ($13) shares after Oviedo's precarious position was highlighted on the social media website Twitter thanks to the efforts of Spanish football expert and long-time Oviedo supporter Sid Lowe.
    Over the past two weeks those fans have bought more than $1.9 million in new shares in the club, and Slim was so impressed -- he described the gesture as "extraordinary" -- that the Mexican tycoon has now pumped in a further $2.5 million to become Oviedo's majority shareholder.
    "This challenge and ambition is strictly a sports investment and one that looks to benefit the club and its fans,'' said an Oviedo statement regarding Slim's intervention.