Americans Cliff Onalfo and Russell Platt buy troubled Spanish club Reus

Cliff Onalfo, Curt Onalfo's older brother and the owner of the old Connecticut Wolves, and fellow American Russell Platt have bought troubled Spanish second division club Reus.

The move was announced two days after Reus' match against Las Palmas was suspended because of the team's uncertain financial situation.

U.S. international Shaq Moore and four other players had their contracts rescinded at the end of 2018 after Reus failed to players for three months. The moves left Reus with only 13 pro players for the start of training after the holiday break. Spanish federation rules require clubs to field at least seven pros at all times.

Reus sits in in the relegation zone -- 20th in the 22-team Segunda División -- but has been handcuffed because it is banned from bringing in new players during the January transfer window. That backdrop -- a likely drop to the Segunda División B next season -- had complicated efforts by majority owner Joan Oliver to find a new owner.

The statement released by Reus indicated the new owners will pay the club's debts -- estimated to be 5 million euros ($5.7 million) -- in order to avoid automatic relegation and plan to build a new 18,000-seat stadium and an entertainment complex for the club, which has been averaging about 2,000 fans a game.

The first steps will be to get the club in compliance with La Liga and pay its players and creditors.

Cliff Onalfo, who played soccer at Columbia University, is a real estate investor, serving at CEO of Global Cities Capital, which specializes in hotel turnarounds. He was involved in the USL's early days as a pro league when it was the USISL.

Based in London, Platt is the managing director and CEO of Forum Partners. He founded and managed the global real estate department of Morgan Stanley Asset Management.
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