Spezia President Backs North American Investment in Serie A

Italian football once resisted foreign ownership, but is now mired in foreign funding. North American owners support as many as six top-tier clubs, and Spezia chairman Philip Platek – also an American – believes there is good reason why such a trend has emerged in recent years.

Talking to Corriere della Sera (Across Tuttomercatoweb), identify the strategic reason behind companies entering the Italian peninsula.

“Of the top five (European) leagues, the Italian leagues have the largest growth margins, with well known brands. The Premier League is a long way off, but let’s start to think that Calcio can return to its former glory.”

Atalanta became the latest club to be owned (majority ownership) by Bain Capital in February of this year. Rocco Commisso, owner of Fiorentina, is American of Italian descent, while Genoa is backed by US sports investment firm 777 Partners. Milan was recently overtaken by RedBird Capital, and Roma’s owners – the Friedkin Group – have taken the helm for more than two years.

Giuseppe Saboto, the Canadian owner of Bologna, is the only non-American owner from the continent. Serie B side Venice is run by American businessman Duncan Niedrauer, while Parma is mainly owned by the Krause Group.

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