To many football fans, even those in Spain, the name Real Oviedo is not the best known name around. However, since they were founded in 1926, this small club has frequently punched above it’s weight. In the 1930′s they were one of the top sides in the country – until the Spanish Civil War struck. Between 1988 and 2001, they were a mainstay in La Liga.
Sadly, since then Los Azules have been the victims of local politics and the avarice of their owners. Between 2001 and today, all the news about Oviedo has been financial mismanagement, unpaid players, and an indifferent local government. They are currently in the third tier of Spanish football and recently looked in real danger of going out of business.
The club has in the past counted players like: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal, Juan Manuel Mata of Chelsea, Michu of Swansea and two of my favorite players from the 80′s: Robert Prosineki of Croatia and Marius Lacatus of Romania were also Oviedo men back in the day.
In a final attempt to save the club, they have started a fan-driven share issue. Anyone in the world can buy a share in the club. A single share is just under $15. You are unlikely to ever make any great amount of money from it, or even to see a return of any sort. But you can save a venerable old club from going out of existence, and you can own a piece of a football club. I’m not sure this would entitle you to pop into the dressing room at half time and tell the coach what to do, but it’s a great way of fostering a sense of belonging.
Oviedo themselves say it best with this quote from their website
Now, Real Oviedo tries to avoid its nemesis and November 17th is the deadline, the supporters try to prevent their beloved club from uttering its swansong. Please, step ahead and become a hero: contribute to Real Oviedo’s dreams of a better future to come by buying even just a single share. As this traditional supporters’ chant goes ‘We shall be back in First Division, once again’.
Oviedo need to raise approx £2m by November 17th to stay afloat. If you are interested in buying a share, please take a look here. Also, English journalist living in Spain: Sid Lowe is far more of an expert on this than me and he is worth following on Twitter: @sidlowe
Mark Cruise is a soccer writer for rantsports.com – you can follow him on Twitter: @chiefhairyman #rantsoccer