Published: November 29, 10:24 a.m. ET
Updated: November 30, 9:08 a.m. ET

Founding Canadian Premier League club York United have new owners.

Seven months after the Nine Stripes’ operations were taken over by the CPL and Canada Soccer Business, the north Toronto-based club have been sold to Game Plan Sports, a newly formed group of Mexican investors with ties to Liga MX soccer, reports The Athletic’s Josh Kloke.

The fee paid for the club is the highest in the CPL’s history, per league commissioner Mark Noonan, who called the incoming new owners “world-class” in recent weeks

“York United FC represents an incredibly important market for the CPL,” said Noonan, who is also CEO of Canadian Soccer Business. “We bought the club believing that the right stewards can make it a model club in our league. In Game Plan Sports Group we have found just that: an experienced, world-class ownership team that is committed to developing York United FC into the thriving, first-rate organization we know it can be.”

Brothers Eduardo, Ricardo, and Miguel Pasquel will relocate to Toronto to take over the day-to-day operation of the club. Eduardo will be the club’s Chief Executive Officer, Ricardo will be President and General Manager, and Miguel will be Chief Commercial Officer.

The Pasquels’ uncle Alejandro Orvañanos is a former President of Liga MX giants Club América and their father Miguel Pasquel Sr. previously served as the General Secretary and Chief Financial Officer for the Mexican Football Federation. Their grandfathers have experience of both playing for and owning Liga MX clubs.

Kloke reports the Pasquels first voiced their interest in buying York United in May and have spent time in Toronto to better understand the size and potential of the market. Sources told Kloke that they saw untapped potential for further growth in the region and they believe they can nurture young Canadian talent and create a bigger and more impactful brand before and after the 2026 World Cup.

“We are an ambitious group that has lived and breathed soccer all our lives, and we plan to make a massive contribution to growing the game in Canada,” said Eduardo Pasquel, the club’s new CEO. “On the field, we not only expect to deliver trophies to this club by building competitive squads that will fight for championships year in and year out, but to simultaneously develop the next generation of soccer stars through an ambitious plan to invest in young athletes that will get more Canadians involved in the game.

“Off the field, we are committed to understanding the needs of our supporters and the community to create a better fan experience for all. By making a permanent move to Canada with our families, we will be able to ingrain ourselves into the fabric of the area. We can’t wait to build a special legacy within this club and this community. We are all in on Canadian soccer.” 

Mexican Football Federation General Secretary Iñigo Riestra personally called Noonan to vouch for the group, who have ties to FEMSA, the beverage and retail corporation that owns Liga MX side CF Monterrey. Multiple ownership groups expressed interest in buying the club, but the Pasquels were selected not just based on the fee but also the league’s hopes that the acquisition by storied Mexican soccer individuals could improve how the league is viewed both at home and abroad.

“They have the soccer and business acumen necessary to take York United to new heights,” added Noonan. “I am particularly excited for the soccer-mad community in the Greater Toronto Area to have this group breathing new life into one of our founding clubs.”

Last spring, York had been purchased by the league after their previous owners, the Baldassarra family, decided they needed to step away with the club in need of a new direction after three years as co-owners and then two years as sole owners. York are now the second CPL club with foreign ownership after Atlético Madrid-owned Atlético Ottawa.

In the short term, they are expected to continue playing at York Lions Stadium, where they have had the lowest average attendance in the league. Game Plan Sports will explore and pursue a new home, with a proposed 8,000-seat soccer-specific stadium at Woodbine Racetrack still possible.