Genoa, Italy's oldest soccer club, sold to American company

AP , Thursday 23 Sep 2021

Genoa F.C logo
Genoa F.C soccer club logo.

The oldest soccer club in Italy is the latest in a growing number of Serie A teams with North American owners.

Genoa, which was founded in 1893, was sold to the private investment firm 777 Partners, the club announced Thursday, in a deal reportedly worth 150 million euros ($175 million).

``The new ownership group will purchase 99.9% of the share capital in Genoa, inject fresh capital into the club and will assume certain related liabilities,'' a statement announcing the ownership change said. ``The club's previous owner, Enrico Preziosi, will remain on the club's board of directors, while CEO Alessandro Zarbano will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the club.''

Preziosi had been looking to sell Genoa for some time after 18 years in charge.

``The time has come to pass the torch,'' Preziosi said. ``I have always said that I would leave Genoa only to a strong and reliable new owner.''

The investment was led by Josh Wander and Steve Pasko, the founders of 777 Partners, as well as Juan Arciniegas, who oversees the firm's sports, media and entertainment investments, and Andres Blazquez, the operating partner who helps manage the company's soccer investments.

``We are profoundly humbled to be a small part of the rich history, heritage and tradition of Genoa,'' Wander said. ``We understand and respect the responsibility we are inheriting to preserve and protect the proud legacy of the Rossoblu, and we are committed as custodians of that legacy to help the club reclaim its place at the top of Serie A.''

Six other teams in the top division have North American owners: AC Milan, Roma, Fiorentina, Bologna, Spezia and Venezia. So does Parma, which was relegated to Serie B for this season, while Inter is controlled by China's Suning Group.

Miami-based 777 Partners also owns a small stake in Spanish club Sevilla, as well as the London Lions basketball team.

Genoa won the last of its nine Italian league titles in 1924. The team has one win and four points from its opening five matches in Serie A this season, having finished 11th in 2020-21.

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