A consortium of Australian businessmen is inching closer to purchasing former Serie A club Reggina Calcio after their president confirmed a sale of the club could be sealed before the start of next season.
As revealed by Fairfax Media on April 23, An Italian football club could come under Australian ownership after a consortium involving furniture king Nick Scali held preliminary discussions to purchase former Serie A club, Reggina Calcio. There has been a significant development since after the group received important financial documents from the club as part of the potential takeover. A deal still remains some way off as the Australian group will not decide whether to go ahead with the investment until inspecting Reggina and club facilities first hand in the coming months.
It is understood the Australian consortium may be prepared to purchase a controlling stake for the sum of $13.7 million to be paid over the course of three years. Reggina president Lillo Foti told Italian media that the likely governance structure of the club under potential Australian ownership will see the introduction of a board with a heavy representation from the consortium with the existent president and chairman potentially retaining their positions.
“We are working for the future of Reggina with a group of Calabrian entrepreneurs residing in Australia. They have already taken note of our budgets and are confident of being able to realise everything in the shortest time possible. They are serious people willing to invest €10 million for the next three years. On the other hand I tried unsuccessfully to seek the support of the forces in the area, both on the institutional front and on individuals,” he said.
Despite languishing in Italy’s third tier, the Lega Pro C, the consortium views the investment as an opportunity to propel Reggina back into the Serie A for the first time since 2009. Reggina spent nine years in the top flight before parachuting down largely as a result of financial problems. Reggina face potential bankruptcy and have looked to Australian businessmen of Calabrian heritage to save the historic club. The club is desperately seeking investment and has set a minimum target of returning to the Serie B, renovating their home ground Stadio Oreste Granil with the ultimate goal of returning to Italy’s top flight.
“The goal is to set up a group able to obtain the minimum goal of the Serie B and looking ahead,” Foti said. “On the role of the president that will go in the new corporate structure.”
Aside from the potential takeover, Reggina and Sydney-based football club Marconi Stallions held negotiations to establish a football link between the two clubs’ junior academies. Marconi president Vince Foti – who is not related to the Reggina owners – said Foti held a series of meetings recently at Marconi’s base in Bossley Park but denied involvement in the potential takeover of the Calabrian club.