Steve Nash says he has 'long term' plans for Mallorca's success
Former NBA star Steve Nash says his aim as co-owner of Segunda Division club Mallorca is to return the Balearic Islanders to the top division.
Former Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and LA Lakers player Nash is part of a consortium including Suns co-owners Robert Sarver and Andy Kohlberg, who bought a controlling share in the club last January for a reported €20 million.
Nash and Sarver attended Saturday's 1-0 Segunda win over Real Oviedo, a game which marked Mallorca's 100 years of the club's history. The pair met with the players and coach Fernando Vazquez before the game, and also attended a special outdoor pregame centenario party for fans at the sold out Estadi Iberostar.
Robert Sarver sirviendo la paella Celebramos 100 años !!!! pic.twitter.com/22GtzVg3mP- RCD Mallorca (@RCD_Mallorca) March 5, 2016
The Canada-born two-time NBA MVP told Marca that he and his partners were committed to the Spanish club long term and were putting in place better structures to help for long-term growth.
"This project's objectives are long term," Nash said. "First we must make sure we're safe from relegation as soon as we can. From there the objective is to get the team back into the top division.
"We have not set ourselves a goal but we want to keep evolving and achieve as much as we can. We also want to improve many things at the club -- the facilities, the training methods and other small improvements that can help make the performance better."
Mallorca have spent much of their history in Spain's top division, but have struggled both on and off the pitch in recent years and have played in the Segunda since 2013.
Although results have picked up following the signing of seven new players in January, Vazquez's side remain in the bottom half of the table, with promotion this season looking very unlikely.
Long-time football fan Nash, who took part in training with the players on Friday, said he was delighted to part of a project which he expected to be successful.
"I trust in the project of Robert Sarver and the other club owners," he said. "We are a group of people who know each other and work very well together. This is an important club with 100 years of history and tradition on this island. I like football a lot and wanted to take part in a project in this sport. Mallorca is the ideal club in my opinion."
Sarver spoke to the club website and said the medium-term plan also included building Mallorca's fanbase in the U.S. and links with the Suns.
"We will try for North American fans to follow Mallorca," Sarver said. "In fact we will organise exhibition games for the team in the U.S. and establish connections with the Phoenix Suns' fans."