Saturday November 2 2019
Commisso: 'Fiorentina stadium by 2023'

Rocco Commisso announced Fiorentina have a new objective. “We’ll take two years to build the training centre, then another two years for the stadium.”

The President started off by showing Nikola Milenkovic’s jersey, worn when he scored the winner against Sassuolo on Wednesday.

“I promised to do things ‘fast, fast, fast’ and every time I’ve made a quick decision, it has gone well for me. I learned it’s better to do it fast than wait for the various risks.

“In 1995, I wrote a summary of how I would develop Mediacom, which is how we got to this point. I am instinctive, I use my heart and my head, I like risks, because I take risks when I can see opportunities.”

He listed examples, including proposing to his wife within 48 hours of their meeting, and they have now been together for 46 years.

“The latest was Fiorentina. I could wait until June to evaluate all the risks, but if I’d done that, Fiorentina might not have been in my hands.

“The most important thing is that I had a little more time to work and improve the squad. So all these things worked well for me, doing it fast. I judge between opportunity and risk, fast, fast, fast.

“Now I want to introduce another concept: 2+2. We’ll take two years to build the training ground and two years to get the stadium done. These are my new objectives.

“This morning, we went to the Bagno a Ripoli land and it’ll be not just the biggest training ground in Italy, but also a medical centre, restaurant, pool, facilities for the kids, women’s team, men.

“We went to visit Sassuolo’s training ground and on November 30, you’ll see what we will do, as we’ll present our plans to the council. Someone wrote it could cost €10-20m, are you crazy? That’s just to buy the land. This is an investment worth around €50m.

“This is a long-term business. We have to increase the revenue and make Fiorentina an example of a side that can compete at the top.

“The great thing about this ground is that we’ll all be together. I am very happy to have made this decision, because it’s a message that I am sending out to Florence, to Italy, that when the private communicates well with the public sector, things can go well for everyone.”

Commisso explained why refurbishing the Stadio Artemio Franchi is not feasible.

“I told the Mayor that the problem was they didn’t give me enough options on how to remain in the city. We started with the Stadio Franchi, because I knew it could be a problem moving Fiorentina from there.

“As far as I know, because nobody has written confirmation to me, the Curve cannot be eliminated. I am not interested in doing a 50-50 job here.

“I have not been given a lot of options here, so I can’t wait months to know how much of the area they want and what the price-tag is. I have to look at alternatives.

“I want Fiorentina to play in their new stadium in September 2023. That’s what I told the Mayor and I’m telling you now.”

Commisso also announced there would be a shake-up of the hierarchy at the Viola.

“Joe Barone deserves more credit than being just my ‘right hand man,’ so let’s give him a more appropriate title. From now on, he is director general of Fiorentina and part of the Board of Administration.

“My son Joe is learning Italian, he too is part of the Board and wants to remain in Florence, which my wife is angry at me about.

“The other thing I want to say is that thanks to Mediacom, we are doing OK. Despite buying Fiorentina, our debts are lower than a year ago, even with that investment.

“This is our 91st consecutive quarter of revenue growth. Perhaps in Italy and America, if there are two or three companies with that record, they are giants. I am very proud of that.”

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