Lorenzo Sanz Mancebo (born 19 April 1943 in Madrid) is a Spanish businessman, former president of Real Madrid Club de Fútbol and former owner of Málaga Club de Fútbol, where his son Fernando (a former player with Real Madrid and Málaga) served as the club's president.
In his youth, Sanz played as a goalkeeper for several minor league Madrilenian teams, including Puerta Bonita. An astute businessman, he made his fortune in real estate and construction.
Real Madrid President
Sanz was director of Real Madrid from 1985 to 1995. He became chairman of Real Madrid on 26 November 1995 after Ramón Mendoza was forced to resign due to the economic, social, and sporting problems of the club. Sanz tried to turn the club around by bringing in star players like Davor Šuker and Predrag Mijatović with his own money. This led to a long awaited European Cup victory, which Real Madrid had not won since 1966, as the club clinched both the 1998 and 2000 tournaments, now named the UEFA Champions League.
However, the two UEFA Champions League triumphs were not enough to hide the financial problems that still plagued the club and in elections a few weeks after the 2000 final, he lost the presidency to Florentino Pérez.
Negotiations with Parma
Between June 2005 and January 2006, Sanz was negotiating with Parma Football Club in Amministrazione Straordinaria to become the club's new owner. Guido Angiolini and Enrico Bondi, the two officers appointed by the Italian government to restore Parma, and its main sponsor Parmalat, were the two persons involved in the operations with Sanz. The first time Parma announced negotiations with Sanz was in August 2005. Both President Guido Angiolini and government-appointed administrator Enrico Bondi asked for €27.5 million, but the negotiations were not as smooth as some predicted.
Until January 2006, the Sanz family was still transacting business with Bondi and Angiolini, but to no avail. In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport in January 2006, President Angiolini stated that, "If, by the 16th, the deal with the Sanz family has not been closed, we will set about finding a new buyer." Sanz has seemed the most likely buyer of the club since last August when he made an initial payment of €7.5 million ($9.07 million) on the full price of €27.5 million. However, he has not yet paid the outstanding €20 million. Parma administrators stated that after 16 January 2006, the club is free to find other interested buyers as the contract with Sanz expired on 15 January 2006. Other interested buyers include the owner of Spain's Alamak Espana Trade, Russian oligarch Abram Reznikov. The uncertainty over the club's future has become a source of increasing frustration for Parma supporters. The deal with Sanz was a big dilemma for Parma supporters. In some papers, this deal was referred to as "The never ending story." Parma supporters were longing for a positive ending. Sanz visited Parma a couple of times, and he even turned up at the Stadio Ennio Tardini to follow some of Parma's matches in Serie A. Because of his withdrawal from the deal and failure to pay the rest of the sum of €20.5 million, Lorenzo Sanz Senior and Lorenzo Sanz Junior lost much of their credibility.
Sanz has recently announced that he will put himself up for election once again for the vacant President's position at Real Madrid, losing it to Ramón Calderón.
In May 2008, it has been reported that he is looking to buy Italian club Associazione Sportiva Bari, and that the Bari owners have given him 10 days to close the deal, which is rumored to be around €15 million.
On September 2008, he was briefly jailed charged of fraud by a bank after trying to get paid a fake cheque. The complaint was withdrawn on December 2008.
On 11 November 2009, it was reported by Spanish newspaper El Pais that Sanz was arrested trying to smuggle artwork out of Spain.
Sanz is the father-in-law of former Real Madrid and Spanish defender Míchel Salgado, who married his daughter Malula.
|President of Real Madrid