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Thursday, May 29, 2008

AS Roma May Be Sold to American Investors George Soros and Joseph Tacopina


The logo is from the http://www.hqfl.dk/ website, and qualifies under Fair Use Rationale from Wikipedia.

According to an article today in the La Gazzetta dello Sport, famed defense attorney, Mr. Joseph Tacopina, may be entering into a new courtroom.

The Serie A.

The article quoted an earlier piece that appeared in The New York Post. There has been speculation in recent months that Mr. George Soros wanted to invest in or takeover AS Roma. On the image published with the La Gazzetta article, upon his arrival in Rome, Mr. Tacopina was holding a scarf that said "Forza Roma."
"Joe is purchasing the Roma soccer team with George Soros as his main investor, and [Tacopina's] going to be the president of the team," the source said.

The lawyer, whose father was born in Rome, has long been a major fan of Roma and attended soccer's World Cup final in Berlin in 2006."
Source: New York Post, 28 May 2008, Dan Mangan, Goooooal for Lawyer.

La Gazzetta dello Sport has another view
"Ma è difficile capire se l’avvocato agisca per conto della Inner Circle, la società che fino ad ora ha trattato per Soros, o se invece si tratti di un’iniziativa personale e parallela."

"It is difficult to understand if the lawyer represents Inner Circle, the firm that up until now has dealt for Soros, or if instead he is dealing with a personal and parallel initiative."
Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 29 May 2008, Boldrini-Catapano, La Roma a Soros entro al weekend. (Roma to Soros by the weekend).

The only other American, to date, that owns a controlling interest in a Serie A side is Mr. John Elkann, the grandson of Giovanni "L'Avvocato" Agnelli, of Juventus FC.

In Italian, "L'Avvocato" means "The Lawyer." Mr. Agnelli, a legendary Italian cultural and business figure, was known simply by that label.

I was looking on Mr. Tacopina's law firm site, and noticed that he once represented Lazio legend, Giorgio Chinaglia. I have not heard the lawyer's name mentioned before in soccer circles; however, AS Roma is only missing one thing to elevate itself to the next level. A large transfer budget. With a debt close to 300 million euros, the Sensi Family, via their holding company, were significantly constrained in that department.

Roma. La Magica.

For the Romanista faithful around the world, the next few days should be very interesting.

For more about AS Roma from Google Finance, please click here.

2 comments:

Chef Di said...

Steve,

would you be kind enough to share a few insights on what this means for the future of the squad, and for the profile of soccer in America - if anything? Thanks!

Steve Amoia said...

Diane:

In my opinion, should either of the two men ultimately finalize this deal, there will be significant mainstream media coverage due to their respective celebrity.

In the past, we have only read of American investment in the EPL. The profile of the Serie A here should rise and/or receive increased coverage due to a positive event. Instead of the Calciopoli scandal from two years ago that still lingers in the international media.

In terms of the team itself, they could receive what they are lacking: a cash infusion to either eliminate their large debt or reduce it, along with funds to mount a serious challenge on the international transfer market.

Mr. Tacopina is the son of a Roman, and has dual citizenship (according to the NY Post article). While the Romanista faithful might question the motives of a famous American lawyer, they will no doubt learn of his connection to their city and beloved team. I believe that will help ease the transition should this transaction be consummated. I have a feeling that Rosella Sensi, one of the few women with a prominent managerial presence in world football, will continue to have a significant role at the club.

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