ROME - The sale of AS Roma to a United
States consortium led by Thomas Di Benedetto is due to be signed
before April 20 after the parties hammered out a preliminary
deal, the Rome mayor said on Wednesday.
Discussions have been going on for months with takeover
speculation surrounding the indebted Italian club for years and
they are now poised to be the only Serie A side with foreign
ownership, unlike the much courted English Premier League.
Di Benedetto has been a partner of New England Sports
Ventures which owns English Premier League side Liverpool.
Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said in a statement that
executives of creditor bank Unicredit, de facto controllers of
Roma, would visit the U.S. to seal the deal next month.
Late on Tuesday, Roma owner Italpetroli said it had worked
out the basic terms to sell control of the football club to Di
Benedetto AS Roma LLC.
"The acquisition should be made by a vehicle 60 percent
owned by Di Benedetto and 40 percent by UniCredit. UniCredit has
the option to sell a part to other Italian investors," a joint
One of the reasons for coach Claudio Ranieri's resignation
last month was the uncertainty caused by the prospect of new
owners and the lack of money he had to spend in the January
Unicredit had taken over the de facto running of the club in
order to steer the sale process and recoup losses.
Roma, now managed by former player Vincenzo Montella, lost
to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions league last 16 earlier this
month and are sixth in Serie A having been runners-up last term.
Foreign investors had previously snubbed Serie A and instead
were drawn to the more lucrative English Premier League where
top stadiums are often full and merchandise sales significantly
boost profits, unlike in Italy.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Sunderland are
all owned by Americans.
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