AS Roma have become the first major Italian team to have foreign ownership after a group of American investors signed a deal to buy the club.
The consortium, led by Thomas DiBenedetto, have agreed to buy a 67% controlling share of the club for 70.3m euros. DiBenedetto is also a partner in Fenway Sports Group, the U.S. based group that has bought Liverpool.
“The deal is done,” DiBenedetto said at a press conference on Friday. “There have been complicated points, but I never felt like giving up. I am proud of my Italian origins and for this reason I will do big things.”
DiBenedetto has lofty ambitions for his new acquisition, telling Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport he wanted:
“a club capable of winning the Scudetto [Italian league title] every year and to be finally competitive in the Champions League”.
DiBenedetto first big decision will be in deciding who will handle the football side of things. England’s assistant manager Franco Baldini is reportedly one of the favourites to return to Roma as their director of football, a position he held from 1999 until his resignation in March 2005.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is expected to return to Italy and take over the managerial reigns at Roma.
After a bad home at home to Palermo 3-2 at the weekend, Roma find themselves four points off the fourth and final qualifying spot for Champions League football next season with five games remaining.