Saturday April 16 2011
OFFICIAL: Di Benedetto owns Roma

It is now official: Thomas Di Benedetto is the new owner of Roma after signing the €70m contract late Friday night. “Good things don't come easy.”

The American businessman put pen to paper in Boston and the announcement was made past midnight.

It marks the end of an era for the Sensi family and their Italpetroli business, who had agreed to sell via UniCredit Bank after running into financial difficulties.

Di Benedetto and his consortium now own 67 per cent of AS Roma, plus the entirety of ASR Real Estate and Brand Management, who look after the Trigoria training ground and marketing respectively.

The consortium is split between 60 per cent owned by Di Benedetto and 40 per cent by UniCredit.

An official statement confirmed the cost of the operation is €70.3m. The remaining 33 per cent of shares will be opened up to public offers.

Roma are the first Serie A side under foreign ownership, although the deal is still subject to regulatory approval.

“Good things don't come easy,” Di Benedetto said during a joint news conference with UniCredit vice-general director Paolo Fiorentino.

“I never felt that I would give up on the quest for this team, also thanks to the support of my associates.”

Di Benedetto is a partner of Fenway Sports Group, previously known as New England Sports Ventures, a huge conglomerate that owns the Boston Red Sox and Premier League side Liverpool.

“I didn't expect all this attention from the fans and media. I knew how important soccer was in Italy and the great passion of the Romans, which is one of the reasons we put so much into this project.

“I have never played soccer, but have always shared the passion for this sport, from my father who played in the Soccer League to my children.

“These negotiations were very important. I love Roma and want to do something great for this city. I am proud of my origins.”

This week Milan President Silvio Berlusconi publicly welcomed Di Benedetto to the Serie A fold and the American responded.

“I thank Berlusconi and our objective is to have the same success he had with Milan. With the new financial fair play rules, choosing talented youngsters is crucial, and Roma already have some.

“To do this we need the best managers. We'll do everything we can to attract the best young players to Roma.”

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