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Worldwide Effort to Save Soccer Club

Leah Nash/For The New York Times

Real Oviedo, a soccer team in the proud province of Asturias, is about 300 miles north of Madrid and about a million miles behind Real Madrid, the powerhouse that along with F.C. Barcelona defines Spanish soccer.

Once a top-tier club, Real Oviedo tumbled as low as the fourth division, undone by years of financial negligence and political strife. Team staff members worked in a stadium bathroom when the power was turned off in their offices. Players revolted after not being paid. The current owner, charged with tax evasion, is missing. The club’s tax bill of 1.9 million euros, or $2.4 million, is due at the end of the year. Bankruptcy beckoned.

So about two weeks ago, Real Oviedo sold shares in the team online for 10.75 euros, or about $14. The club may never...

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