Unai Emery takes over Spanish third division Real Union as Villarreal coach buys majority stake in founding LaLiga club his father AND grandfather used to play for
- Unai Emery has bought a majority stake in Spanish third division Real Union
- Emery’s father and grandfather used to play for the founding member of LaLiga
- The former Arsenal boss won the Europa League last month with Villarreal
Unai Emery has bought a majority stake in Real Union, the club his father and grandfather played for in Spain.
The ownership of Union, one of the founders of LaLiga, changed hands on Friday morning with Igor Emery – the brother of the Villarreal coach, who was tasked with handling the formalities involved in signing the deal.
It is not yet known what plans Emery has for the club, which is struggling and languishing in the third tier of Spanish football, although it is known that the club was bought for sentimental reasons.
Unai Emery has bought a majority stake in a Spanish club his father and grandfather played for
Emery’s grandfather, Antonio, was a loyal fan of Union and played 110 games for the Spanish club from 1928 to 1935. He was a goalkeeper.
Emery’s father, Juan, also played 15 games for Union from 1957-59. He was also a goalkeeper by trade and played for nine clubs during his 16-year career, including Granada, Deportivo La Coruna and Alaves.
Unlike his father and grandfather, Unai Emery played as a midfielder throughout his 14-year career as a professional, never playing for Union.
The Minnows were a founding member of LaLiga, but have been going through some rough times lately
The former Arsenal boss won his fourth Europa League title with Villarreal last month
Union is plagued by economic difficulties, while on-field performance has been declining for years. Emery reportedly first sought a full understanding of the club’s financial situation from club president Ricardo García before signing a deal.
Garcia has been at the helm for two decades and has long sought a new owner of the club, although he has patiently waited for someone with local roots to make an offer before considering foreign offers.
Emery has had a wildly successful couple of weeks in his home country, having won Villarreal’s first European title after beating Manchester United in the Europa League final on a thrilling penalty shootout.