On the first day of summer, it became known that Milan would have new owners. The American company Elliott Management sold the club to their compatriots from RedBird Capital. The deal amounted to 1.2 billion euros. But Elliott Management and RedBird Capital are not the only US representatives in Italian football. There are others. Let’s talk about them in more detail in the following article.
In February 2022, the Italian media disseminated information that the shareholder of the Boston Celtics basketball club, Stephen Pagliuca became a co-owner of Atalanta. The American bought a 55% stake in the club from the Percassi family. The deal amounted to more than 400 million euros. Antonio Percassi remained president of Atalanta while his son Luca remained CEO. Pagliuca became the club’s co-chairman and co-owner.
It was assumed that after the arrival of the American businessman, Atalanta would receive serious financial injections. The possible resignation of head coach Gian Piero Gasperini was also discussed. Until neither happened. Atalanta did not qualify for European competition next season, but they are not very active in the transfer market to strengthen the team and improve its results. However, if we were to take a look at the odds on various bookmakers including the 22Bet website, Atalanta were one of the main favourites to qualify for the Champions League, let alone the Europa League. None of this happened. To date, the influence of Pagliuca on the Italian club is not very noticeable but it is likely to change soon.
As with Milan, Roma passed from one American owner to another. In August 2020, James Pallotta sold the club to Dan Friedkin. Negotiations continued for several months and stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the deal was made nonetheless. Roma went under the hammer for 600 million euros. After that, Pallotta immediately started looking for another club.
Friedkin did not force things. The new president allowed Wolves mentor Paulo Fonseca to work out the contract until the end, after which he invited Jose Mourinho. Together with the Portuguese, trophies also came to the Romans. In this case, the Conference League. Management helps the specialist with the formation of a competitive team. Tammy Abraham is doing well in Italy. In addition, Roma got Nemanja Matic and Paulo Dybala for free, and also loaned Georginio Wijnaldum. Signing other quality players is possible as well. Roma are definitely targeting the Scudetto this season.
Roma can clearly demonstrate their power, considering that they have quite a few decent players in the squad. While Jose Mourinho is a head coach the latter can lead the team to success.
In June 2019, American businessman Rocco Commisso bought Fiorentina from the Della Valle family. The deal amounted to $190 million. Negotiations continued for several years. Commisso, who has Italian roots, really wanted a club from Serie A. He spent about 4% of his fortune on Fiorentina. The American still manages the club, although not everyone in Florence is satisfied with his leadership, especially representatives of the fan movement.
In the first season under Commisso, Fiorentina finished 10th in Serie A, in the second – 13th. Fiorentina sold the best players, while the results of the team worsened. The fans didn’t like it. Their anger came to a head with the sale of Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus. Vlahovic was a leader of the team, scoring a lot of goals and his transfer to Juventus was really detrimental for the team. There are no questions about that.
The situation was calmed down a bit by Vincenzo Italiano, who led Fiorentina to the Conference League. However, the relationship between Commisso and the fans still remains tense.
In September 2021, the American investment company 777 Partners bought Genoa from the Italian businessman Enrico Preziosi. The deal amounted to $175 million. Alberto Zangrillo, the personal physician of the current owner of Monza, Silvio Berlusconi, became the president of the Griffins. 777 Partners decided not to be limited to Italy. After the Genoa deal, the Americans bought out 70% of the shares of the Brazilian Vasco da Gama, promising to pay off its debts.
The Americans are not doing well so far. At the time of the purchase, Genoa was one of the candidates for relegation from Serie A. The new owners appointed Andriy Shevchenko to the post of head coach of the team, but the specialist failed to radically change the situation. Alexander Blessin, who came instead of the Ukrainian, did not manage to do this either. Genoa were relegated to Serie B, but the German did not leave the team. He will return the team to the elite of Italian football. Even though the competition in Serie B is huge, we can consider Genoa as the main favourite to return to the top league.
In February 2021, American investor Robert Platek bought a 90% stake in Spezia from businessman Gabriele Volpi. The parties did not disclose the amount of the transaction. With the advent of the new owner, the affairs of the club have not changed much. Following the results of the previous two seasons, Spezia retained their place in Serie A, which can already be considered a positive result. They are trying to work well in all areas, but they still have few prospects for a breakthrough. The main goal of Spezia at the moment is to gain a foothold in the elite of Italian football.
Spezia were not too active in the 2022 summer transfer window, but they can rely on their existing players. For sure, competing for higher goals will be difficult this season but no one expects them to qualify for Europa League at once.
The Bottom Line
As we can see it has become a trend for American owners to be in charge of Italian teams. While it is not enough to compete for higher goals, still the owner is an important factor. All of the teams that we have mentioned above have the potential to add decent players and fight for the European tournaments.