The philosophy of the Mexican entrepreneur linked with Newcastle United

Alejandro Irarragorri spoke about his business philosophy – after declaring his interest in buying a European club.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 6:00 pm
Alejandro Irarragorri, centre.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley – who put the club up for sale two years ago – reportedly met two unnamed Mexican businessmen last week in London for talks.

The meeting, however, “came to nothing”, according to The Athletic.

Irarragorri, previously linked with a bid for Newcastle, was in the capital around that time for a conference. The Mexican entrepreneur is president of Orlegi Sports, which owns Mexican club Santos Laguna.

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And Irarragorri spoke to Leaders in Sport about his business philosophy early this year.

“We’re heavily invested into sports,” said Irarragorri. “We own two clubs now. Santos, the current Mexican champions, and then, in the second division, we’re trying to create value for another club.

“We’re doing the same process we did with Santos 12 years ago to create value for the community and to create a self-sustainable operation for the club.

“When we started our challenge was to create structure and infrastructure and then to create the right processes. This is to achieve three goals, which is continued growth, sports success and profitability. You need to combine this profitability to keep doing the origin of football, which is to create value for the community.

“The way we look at it is that it (football) is probably not the most profitable business that we run, but when you (look at) the value you create for the community, then it becomes a profitable business in every sense of the word.”

Asked if he was looking to buy another club, Irarragorri said: “Definitely. That’s what we’re looking for. And then, also, promoting the values of Mexico. We have 128million people in our country who are deeply committed to football.”

“We were completely looking towards Europe,” he said. “Last year, we were very close to achieving a purchase in the Premier League. Our group was not of sufficient size to proceed with that purchase.”

Meanwhile, Ashley said there were “no offers” for the club in July. He said: “I have to assume I will stay running this club.”