Espanyol owner Chen Yansheng targets Champions League berth
Espanyol's new majority owner, Chinese toy car maker Rastar Group billionaire chairman Chen Yansheng, said he hopes the club's newer and more solid financial base will help in the quest for a Champions League berth.
"I hope that the club are healthy and in the Champions League in less than three years," Chen told reporters on Thursday during a news conference at Cornella-El Prat Stadium. "But I don't want to put any pressure on [coach Constantin] Galca, who is here next to me. But thanks to our presence, there will be no need to worry anymore about selling players due to financial troubles. They will all be up to date with their salary payments."
Chen, who now has 54 percent ownership of the club, announced the investment back in November of last year, but said on Thursday that he plans to invest an additional €45 million into the Catalan club to speed up development.
He said he has been an Espanyol fan for 20 years and added that he will travel back and forth between Spain and China to attend to the club. He gave his full support to the technical staff and said changes would only be made in order to improve results.
He said he saw no reason why Barcelona should not have two powerful clubs and that the project was his passion and more than just an investment.
Former club president Daniel Sanchez Llibre said he will remain on as an assessor to Chen. Sanchez and Ramon Condal will retain five percent of the club's holdings.
Espanyol are currently in 14th place in La Liga, just five points above the relegation zone.
Chen is expected to attend Saturday's home game against Villarreal.
Chinese property conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co bought 20 percent of Atletico Madrid for €45m in 2015.