Italian football once resisted foreign ownership, but now it is awash with foreign finances. As many as six top-tier clubs are backed by North American owners, and Spezia president Philip Platek – who is also American – believes there is a valid reason why recent years have witnessed such a trend.
Speaking to Corriere della Sera (via Tuttomercatoweb), Platek pinpointed the strategic reason why companies have stepped foot into the Italian peninsula.
“Among the top five (European) leagues, the Italian one has the greatest growth margins, with well-recognizable brands. The Premier League is far away, but let’s start thinking that calcio can return to its former glory.”
Atalanta became the most recent club to be owned (majority ownership) by Bain Capital in February this year. Rocco Commisso, who owns Fiorentina, is Italian-American, whereas Genoa is backed by US sport investment firm 777 Partners. Milan were recently overtaken by RedBird Capital, and Roma owners – the Friedkin Group – have been at the helm for over two years.
Giuseppe Saputo, the Canadian owner of Bologna, is the only non-US owner from the continent. Serie B side Venezia is run by American businessman Duncan Niederauer, while Parma are owned majorly by the Krause Group.
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