Real Oviedo is a former top-tier Spanish soccer team that has fallen on hard financial times.
But a Twitter campaign to get fans to buy team shares may have saved it from an untimely end.
Incredible: over 10,000 round the world have bought shares in Oviedo via the on-line PayPal link. #SOSRealOviedo
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) November 14, 2012
— Alberto Mier (@AlbertoTato8) November 16, 2012
UPDATE on Monday, November 19th:
In the end, 20-thousand fans from around the world bought enough shares to raise not $2 million, but $2.5 million. So old debts were paid and bankruptcy was avoided.
As inspiring as the story was, there still wasn’t a guarantee that Real Oviedo would prosper without additional funds to face the future.
Well, that Twitter campaign attracted one more investor over the weekend. And he just happens to be Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, aka “the richest man in the world,” according to Forbes.
Slim decided to invest $2 million of his considerable fortune into the team, thus becoming Real Oviedo’s largest share-holder.
And yes, he was inspired by the fans. At least that’s what Slim’s son in law, Arturo Elias, told a Spanish TV station. “The team’s real owners,” he said, “are the fans.”
He also promised that the goal of Slim’s investment was not to speculate on the team’s value, but rather to help improve its fortunes on the field.
Real Oviedo fans will like the sound of that. The team is, after all, still mired in Spain’s soccer equivalent of the minor leagues, and faces a long way back to the top.