Thursday, 31 March 2011 22:57

US Investors Buying Roma


The Italian sport world is about to welcome the first foreign owner of a Serie A soccer club. Bostonian businessman Thomas DiBenedetto is leading a group of investors planning to buy A.S. Roma, Rome’s soccer team.


DiBenedetto is one of the partners in the Boston Red Sox ownership group. The other investors are Boston Celtics minority owners James Pallotta, Michael Ruane and Richard D'Amore. DiBenedetto is currently in Rome to finalize the deal. The closing is expected within 20 days.


This afternoon he met a group of Rome supporters at the “Roma Club Testaccio”.  The fans are enthusiastic about the acquisition by the American investors, hoping large funds will be invested to strengthen the team, currently placed at the sixth spot of the Italian Serie A league.


After the meeting DiBenedetto, wearing a scarf with the red and yellow colors of the team, was greeted by a large crowd of Rome’s supporters: “Rome is a princess and we will make her a queen” he told.


DiBenedetto with Fans at Rome Club Testaccio


The American investors are said to be prepared to pay 109 million USD to Unicredit Bank for a 60% share of the club. Unicredit will maintain the remaining 40% of the company.


One of the hurdles for closing the deal is DiBenedetto's participation in the Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool, the English soccer team. The rules by the European Football Association (UEFA) prevent ownership of two teams playing in the same tournament and Roma and Liverpool could both qualify for next season's Europa League.


These days the moves of DiBenedetto are followed literally minute by minute by the radio stations, local TVs, official websites and blogs of the team’s supporters.


It will be interesting to see how the US businessman will react to the intense passion of Rome’s fans and to the never ending heated discussions they make about everything related to their beloved team.




Roma Football Team Logo 

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