Rocco Commisso is the new owner of Fiorentina in Italy.
The American billionaire, who is CEO of Mediacom, was born in Italy but moved to the U.S. at the age of 12 and has confirmed the news to Tariq Panja of the New York Times on Thursday.
It is believed Commisso has bought Fiorentina for somewhere between $150-200 million. Fiorentina confirmed the news as Commisso is the fifth foreign owner of a Serie A club.
He previously failed in a bid to buy AC Milan with his love for soccer is clear as he is also the owner of the New York Cosmos in the U.S., the historic club which has been in the NASL and now the NPSL in recent years.
Speaking to the NY Times about the purchase, Commisso was delighted to be the new owner of the Florence club.
“There’s going to be a tremendous amount of effort, work, passion and money all going to be put in to make sure we have a better season than we had last year,” Commisso said. “Given the fact I was born in Italy, my love for Italian soccer and what soccer has done for me I wanted to eventually buy a quality team here in Italy and I’m very proud, happy and honored to buy Fiorentina, a club that’s got great traditions.”
Fiorentina finished in a disappointing 16th place in Serie A in 2018-19, as that slump came after several seasons of qualifying for European competition.
Previous owner Diego Della Valle took over when Fiorentina were declared bankrupt and despite plenty of progress over the last 17 years, fans have turned on him in recent months.
With the success of American businessman James Pallotta at AS Roma in recent seasons, it will be intriguing to see how much money Commisso will provide in transfer funds and how he can help improve profits off the pitch (due to his vast business experience) to help return Fiorentina to top four challengers in Serie A.
He seems like being cautious to start off with, but the potential for Fiorentina to return to the upper echelons of Italian and European soccer is there.