Saturday May 25 2019
Commisso: 'I'm the American Dream'

Rocco Commisso is reported to be the new Fiorentina owner in a $150m deal, a man who calls himself “the fulfilment of the American dream” and a Juventus fan.

According to the New York Times, the takeover from Andrea and Diego Della Valle has been agreed and could be announced as early as Monday.

That’s because the Viola are still technically at risk of relegation in this weekend’s final round of the Serie A season, so the price would obviously change if the club was in Serie B.

Commisso is no stranger to Italian football, as he was in advanced negotiations to buy Milan from Yonghong Li in the summer of 2018.

In 2017 he saved the New York Cosmos from bankruptcy, but the club is currently without a league to play in.

He is a member of the Forbes 400 and made his fortune in cable, now transforming the same Mediacom company into a popular broadband provider.

“In the history of Italian immigration, in the business world, I don't think there's another one like me in the last 100 years,” he told Forbes Magazine.

He arrived in America unable to speak a word of English aged 12, having grown up in the Calabria region as the son of a carpenter.

However, part of his life story probably won’t go down well with fans of Fiorentina, whose most bitter rivals are Juventus.

“I'm the fulfilment of the American dream in all ways. I have been approached numerous times to buy an Italian team.

“About 17 years ago, I was asked to buy Sampdoria, the Serie A team from Genoa. After that, I was invited to be invest with De Benedetto and Pallotta to buy Roma.

“There have been calls to me from Pescara, Palermo, Catania, Reggina. Do you know why I turned them down? Because I am a loyal fan of Juventus since my youth playing soccer in the sandy beaches of Calabria.

“I have met the Agnelli, the Juventus owners, but frankly, they don’t need my money. My proposal to Juventus was not to buy the team. I wanted to do something similar to when Gadhafi from Libya bought a piece of Juventus 20-30 years ago.

“I truly would love, before I go bye-bye for good, to be able to say that I am the largest minority owner of Juventus: not to run it, because I think the Agnelli are phenomenal people and they’ve done a great job in leading Juventus to one of the top clubs in the world."

Commisso also outlined his vision last summer when speaking to Sky Sport Italia.

“I would hope that given my actions and my love of Italy, as I was born in Italy, I can bring to the table the American expertise that I have. I started with nothing, built a huge company and would like to give back some of what I learned in my 68 years.”

Image via Forbes

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