Beijing, Nov 12 (EFE).- American investor Ben Harburg has added Cádiz CF to his varied portfolio and says “it is a purely passion-driven” enterprise and that he hopes to boost the team’s budget by exploring the Chinese market, the businessman told Efe Friday from his Beijing office.
Harburg, who has bought 6.5% of the club’s shares, says that he brings an added weapon the club didn’t have yet in its arsenal: access to global markets.
“Global markets start first with attracting global attention which means we need to establish, promote the Cádiz brand and team within markets where it had very little presence,” the investor told Efe.
One of the top strategies to consolidate the club’s performance is to generate new income for the Cádiz by exploring new markets in China where he has ample experience and investments, including automobile company Nio or the food delivery firm Meituan.
“I think China is the largest and most attractive untapped football market today,” Harburg mused. “You probably watched the euros last summer where most of the sponsors were from China so it’s clear to me that China is the future of sponsorship.”
Harburg has partnered with co-owners Manolo Vizcainno and Rafael Contreras and they all share the vision of cementing the Andalusian club in LaLiga by giving Cadiz’s current budget of 45 million euros an injection of fresh cash to reach the next tier which hovers at around 75 million euros.
“Our first and foremost objective is to cement ourselves so that relegation is not something we have to think about and sweat out every season and I think one of the ways we can do that, beyond making good personnel decisions and good coaching decisions is increasing our salary budget and just enabling ourselves to afford stronger players in the long run.”
When asked what has driven this investment venture, his answer is simple:
“I am not looking for a financial payout here, I am not interested in selling my shares, so the only reward for me is to see the happiness of the fans when we hopefully someday qualify for Europa league.”
Cádiz holds a special place in the investor’s heart. He lived there between the ages of 11 and 13 and he is intent on keeping the shares in the club as a family heirloom.