Pisa to the Russian-American tycoon Knaster, Tacopina one step away from Catania- Corriere.it

English will soon be spoken in Tuscany and perhaps even a little Russian. Not for the presence of tourists in Florence or Siena, however decreased due to the pandemic, but for the acquisition of the Pisa Sporting Club by the Russian-American tycoon Alexander Knaster, which compared to many other important football clubs has chosen the Nerazzurri who currently play in Serie B. The new owner of the club has achieved an epochal turning point in the history of the sports club, after having deepened his knowledge of the accounting documents of the Nerazzurri club. The deal has accelerated in recent days and the billionaire has thus obtained the green light to buy 75% of the club’s shares.

The operation

With this new structure, the very wealthy businessman born in Moscow 61 years ago will be the majority shareholder, while the remaining 25% of the company will remain in the Giuseppe Corrado and his Magic Srl, an entrepreneur who until Wednesday held Pisa with Enzo Ricci and Mirko Paletti, who instead left the property. The intentions of the new management are to follow up and obviously internationalize a technical, sports and entrepreneurial project started just over four years ago and now strong with a signal of continuity that can however extend and conquer a new audience. In parallel, the current presence of the team in Serie B reflects the last three years of sporting satisfaction in the national field, compared to the square it represents, but it seems only the new chapter of a story still to be written. “A partnership of absolute value encouraged by Knaster’s interest in us”, commented Giuseppe Corrado. “I thank those who led the club up to this precious acquisition, but we are ready to continue a path that will continue to give great satisfaction to the team and its fans.”

Who is it

The new owner lives in New York but will closely monitor every game of the newly acquired club. Of Muscovite and Jewish origins, he moved to the United States as early as the age of 16, although his companies are based in London. Today Alexander Knaster is among the 400 richest men on the planet according to Forbes, with assets today equal to 2.2 billion dollars, after becoming head of Alfa Bank in the 1990s, the largest private commercial bank in all of Russia. Now leader of Pamplona Capital Management, he provides alternative forms of investment as a British private equity firm he founded in 2005. It should not be forgotten that before aiming for the Tuscan club, the tycoon had been one of the protagonists of the negotiations for the attempt acquisition of Sampdoria last year, but then nothing came of it. He had four children with his wife Irina.

The first words

While waiting to know the guidelines of what will be the new international management, the Nerazzurri fans were able to read his first statements as owner of their team. «For me it is a source of pride and honor to be associated today with a city and a historical society like Pisa. I look forward to reaching new sporting and non-sporting goals with you, because I am ready to give impetus, in line with the management coordinated by Giuseppe Corrado, to what will be the club’s infrastructure modernization projects, according to a shared vision . Come on Pisa! ” The billionaire then lets interact with these words that the action plan on the square will not be limited only to football, but will extend to what the city itself represents today.


Sporting Pisa is not the first foreign acquisition of this type, because apart from important squares such as Rome, Milan, Inter and Fiorentina, investment funds and various international magnates, especially Americans, seem to have set their sights on Italian football, especially that of the province. In Serie A there are already the cases of Bologna and Parma, in the minor leagues those of Como, Venice, Campobasso and, now, Pisa, but, according to what the Corriere dello Sport reveals, there are even 18 clubs currently under the lens of magnification, including some important squares in the South such as Reggina and Catania. In the latter case, Joe Tacopina and Giovanni Ferraù signed the preliminary contract for the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Calcio Catania Spa. “The agreement, according to clause, will give rise to the consequent closing once the condition of intervention definition of the debt exposure towards the club’s institutional creditors ”, reads a statement. Among the other negotiations in progress, in addition to the one concluded for Pisa, there would also be in progress for Foggia and Latina, but the outcome of the negotiations for these clubs is still to be seen.

January 21, 2021 (change January 21, 2021 | 15:52)


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