The sports industry is a generator of wealth, but it also attracts wealth, As evidenced every year Forbes List which compiles the 100 greatest fortunes in Spain. Among them, several names and surnames related, mostly, to football clubs such as those of Florentino Pérez (Real Madrid), Miguel Ángel Gil Marín (Athletic), Juan Roig (Valencia Basket), Fernando Roig (Villarreal) or Juan Carlos Escotet (Sports), among others.
On the verge of entering this select ranking is Rafael Nadalthe Spanish athlete with the most assets: 297 million euros for the 350 estimated for Alejandro Aznar Sainz, owner of the Ibaizabal Group and Marqués de Riscal who closes the ‘top 100’ of the richest in Spain. The one from Manacor, the richest in the Balearic Islands according to Forbes, is followed by the Asturian pilot Fernando Alonso (270 million) and the Castilla-La Mancha footballer Andres Iniesta (100 million).
Escotet and Juan Roig, the greatest fortunes related to sports
The highest-ranking sports-related personality on the list is Juan Carlos Escotet (4,000 million), president of Abanca, as well as main shareholder of the entity with registered office in Galicia. It is the fourth richest in Spain. At the same time, Abanca is the largest shareholder of Deportivo de La Coruña, a historic club, but which currently plays in the Primera RFEF (third category). In March 2021, the bank took over 75% of the shares of the blue and white team.
The fifth national fortune is in the hands of Juan Roig (3.9 billion), the executive president of Mercadona and its largest shareholder. The Valencian businessman owns 50.66% of the food distribution firm and has always been closely related to the sport of his homeland. Together with his brother Fernando, who will later be mentioned in this compilation, They economically promoted the creation of Valencia Basket in 1986..
Today the ‘taronja’ team belongs to the owner of Mercadona, which will give its name to the multipurpose pavilion that will house, starting at the end of 2024, the games of this basketball team. Juan Roig is also the owner of L’Alqueria de Basket, patron of the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation that promotes grassroots sports and has been a sponsor of events such as the Valencia Marathon. His wife, Hortensia Herrerooccupies 15th position on the Forbes list (2.2 billion), being the fourth richest woman in Spain. He is also a shareholder of Valencia Basket.
Florentino and Fernando Roig, the richest Spanish presidents of LaLiga
In 17th place is Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid since 2009, when he began his second term. The first lasted between 2000 and 2006. With an estimated fortune of 1.6 billion euros, the man from Madrid is a shareholder and president of ACS infrastructures, through a stake that amounts to 13.78%. Adding all his assets, Florentino Pérez remains, for another year, among the 20 richest in Spain.
In 18th place on the list is Fernando Roig, owner of Pamesa Cerámica and who has assets of 1,300 million euros. Pamesa is one of the five largest groups in the sector worldwide. Juan Roig’s brother is also the third largest shareholder of Mercadona (9% of the capital) and president of Villarreal FC since 1997, when the team, now established in the elite, was active in the Second Division. Before arriving at the Castellón club, Fernando Roig was president of Pamesa Valencia and shareholder of Valencia CF.
In position 74 on the Forbes List of the 100 richest Spaniards in 2023 appears José Elías (500 million euros), president and prominent shareholder of Audax Renovableswith a market capitalization that amounts to 571 million euros. In March 2021 he became one of the financial guarantors of Joan Laport’s candidacyto. He could not join the club’s governing board after only being a member of Barça for one year. Yes he agreed Eduard Romeuvice president of the board of directors of Audax and current economic vice president of FC Barcelona.
From Miguel Ángel Gil Marín to Vicente Boluda in the ‘top 100’ of fortunes
The 80th place in the ranking is for Luis Fernandez Somoza (400 million), former owner of Azkar, a transport company that was sold for about 200 million euros in 2008 to the Dachser Group. Currently, he is a multiple investor who manages his wealth through different companies. Between 2002 and 2014 it was the main sponsor of Azkar Lugoa futsal team that played in the elite of this sport, winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Back to football, Miguel Ángel Gil Marín (350 million), main shareholder of Atlético de Madrid, is still in the ‘top 100’. Specifically, the son of the deceased Jesús Gil, occupies the 92nd position. He has control of 70.4% of the rojiblanco club, valued at 328 million euros. Gil Marín also appears as administrator of different real estate developers and owns businesses linked to the bullfighting world, along with his brothers.
Close this review of fortunes related to sports Vicente Boluda (350 million euros), who was interim president of Real Madrid in 2009 during the transition from Ramón Calderón to Florentino Pérez. He is remembered because under his short mandate FC Barcelona scored a historic 2-6 at the Bernabéu and won the League.
Boluda is the owner of Naviera Boluda. In November 2022, it starred in a large corporate operation with the purchase of the Dutch company Smit Lamnalco for 800 million euros. A move that made him the leader of the world’s largest group of tugboats.
Collaterally linked to sporting activity are figures such as Juan Abelló, honorary president of Torreal, the eighth fortune in Spain (2.9 billion euros). The Madrid businessman has diversified investments in areas including sports infrastructure. For his part, Alicia Koplowitz13th richest person in Spain (2.4 billion) and owner of Omega Capital, is part of the shareholders of the eSports club Team Heretics.