Mexico's TV Azteca Buys Guadalajara Club Atlas, Now Owns Two Liga MX Clubs
Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca on Monday bought "troubled" Liga MX side Atlas for about $38M, plus taxes, according to the EFE. Atlas's 124 members decided to sell the club to TV Azteca, which also owns Liga MX club Morelia, during a "historic meeting." Atlas President Eugenio Ruiz Orozco said, "It was unanimously agreed upon by current members to sell our rights to Atlas to the TV Azteca business. From a quantitative point of view, it was not the best of opportunities, but the motivation was not only economic, the goal was to improve the club and keep the team in Guadalajara. We are thinking about the future, we want to see the team win the championship. A business like this guarantees that the team will remain in Liga MX, compete for the championship, keep its colors and logo and stay at the team's current facilities" (EFE, 11/26). GOAL's Tom Marshall reported the transaction put Liga MX's multi-ownership rules "under the spotlight." Atlas was "laden with debt." Local media reported it was bought for around $38M, but "there has been no official word on the fee." The sale came "somewhat as a surprise despite Atlas being on the market, with the club’s previous 124 owners seemingly split on whether they should sell or not," despite years of failure at an institution whose only league title came back in '51. Atlas may be in "better hands in terms of fighting the relegation battle that awaits next season with the financially strong media organization behind them, but the sale apparently breaks Mexico’s recently-introduced multi-ownership rules." Liga MX President Decio De Maria announced in May that "multi-ownership would be ended in Mexico’s first division within five years" (GOAL, 11/26).