Tommaso Giulini has ‘pledged to do better than Massimo Cellino’, as he is presented as Cagliari’s new owner.
The mining mogul yesterday formally completed his buyout of shares in the club to end a 22-year reign under Cellino, who is now focused on new club Leeds United.
At his official presentation as the Isolani’s new owner and President, Giulini outlined his ambitions for the club, and confirmed Zdenek Zeman’s appointment as Coach.
“I have a clear idea of what I want to do with Cagliari,” began the 37-year-old to reporters, after revealing Daniele Conti’s contract extension.
“I was fortunate to begin negotiations in January, I was certain I would buy Cagliari. I have been discussing my project for five months.
“From my experience at Inter [on their board as an associate of Massimo Moratti’s] I take one phrase from Moratti: ‘The team is not mine but the fans’.
“As a fan, Cagliari have always been my second team, now they have become my first.
“The idea of Cagliari? Since 2001 I have been working in Cagliari and then I have always been interested in the club.
“The situation with regards to the stadium - next week we will start work on ensuring 11,000 seats at the Sant’Elia, then through the year we will work to bring that up to 16,000 seats.
“We have already initiated contacts with the mayor, but we are not willing to face the costs of transition to 16,000 seats at the Sant’Elia if the grant to renew the structure is not there.
“We do not know if the new stadium will be a renovation of the Sant’Elia or if it will be built from scratch.
“The 22 years with Cellino were fantastic. I pledge to do well, even better than Cellino. Then, we will see if in 22 years I will have been able to achieve better results.
“There will be an increase in the budget for the academy, we will place great emphasis on the youth.
“The market? We have two of the strongest central defenders in Italy. Zeman needs players like that, he needs certainty in view of his tactical revolution. I hope to keep them.
“Zeman will arrive in early July, in the next few days his assistants will come in. He has signed a one-year contract.”