Cádiz CF, welcome Mr. Harburg thumbnail

Cádiz CF, welcome Mr. Harburg

Ben harburg has bought 6.5% of the Cadiz CF. He is an American investor specializing in China. Its portfolio includes companies such as automobile Child or the food delivery firm Meituan. EFE spoke with him from Beijing. “China it is the least exploited market for football, “he says.

Harburg confirm to Efe from his office in Beijing that to fulfill its mission of generating new income for the club, it will focus on exploring markets such as China: “We compete against teams from larger cities that have more resources, but we will find a way to increase our budget and allow ourselves better players” .

The investor believes that his experience with Chinese clients such as Meituan -leader in home delivery of food- or Child -electric car manufacturer- will open doors to attract sponsors: “I have worked in more than twenty markets globally and I have partners in most of them. We are going to reach agreements that no one of our stature could reach.”

Harburg It also includes tours and academies in the Asian giant that will help build a good fan base in China: “As of today, it is the largest and least exploited market in the world of football. Do you remember the Eurocup of this year? Most of the sponsors came from there, “he says.

According to the businessman, few teams in The league have made efforts to internationalize their brands: “Due to inertia or lack of effort. Look at the Premier League, or even the Bundesliga, who has done a tremendous job in China. You have to get more fans. On The league there is a lot of equality, and that makes it the most exciting competition today. Who wouldn’t want to see it? You have to expand followers in China, but also in Arab countries or in USA“.

In that sense, Harburg does not rule out the incorporation of Chinese players to the Andalusian team, as did the Spanish -than the Chinese tycoon Chen yansgeng acquired in 2016- with striker Wu lei: “We have been evaluating the market and it is still premature, we have to find someone who fits in the field. We are not going to sign anyone just for commercial reasons.”


Harburg He explains that the investment comes from his own pocket and that he does not seek financial returns: “This is a completely personal project. I do not have an exit plan and I would like to stay here and one day pass on to my children.”

His connection with the club and the city comes from afar, as he lived two years with his family in The Port of Santa Maria between 11 and 13: “At that time I watched the games of the Cadiz, which was in Second B“, says the investor, who is committed to” saving the category as it is “- right now, the team is sixteenth with 12 points in the Santander League– and “avoid having to sweat in the relegation zones” during the coming seasons.

“We have to increase our income and our volume of followers. We have to increase our salary cap, which is now 45 million euros, and reach 75, which is where the next threshold is,” he says.

Aware that his project needs time, the businessman asks the fans for a bit of patience: “There will be people who do not understand what we are doing, but they have to know that the Cadiz it is already a global club. We have international players and we are going to get more fans. It’s a matter of time, “he says.

“I’m the first to have a hard time in matches, but what I like about Cadiz is that he has the most passionate followers there is in Spain. I do this for them, I am not looking for a cheap return here. I want us to one day reach the Europa League, and thus reward those who support us, “he says.

Therefore, the businessman does not rule out buying more shares of the team in the future, and highlights the good harmony he maintains with the majority shareholders of the club, Manuel Vizcaino and Rafael Contreras: “We share the same vision, which is to globalize the club. Cadiz It is a city that I love and the people of Cadiz will also benefit from the income that comes to the city. “

“I bring the opportunity to bring Cadiz to an area reserved for bigger clubs “, sums up the businessman.

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