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American consortium completes Roma takeover

SoccerNews in Serie A 16 Apr 2011

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Serie A giants Roma are set to be taken over by an American consortium, according to chief investor Thomas Di Benedetto.

The consortium announced on Friday that they have purchased a 67 percent stake in the club at a price of 62.1 million pounds, subject to regulatory approval.

Di Benedetto owns 60 percent of the new consortium, with Italian bank UniCredit owning the other 40 percent and the completed takeover will signal an end to months of speculation surrounding the future of the club.

“Good things don’t come easy,” Di Benedetto told reporters in Boston. “I never felt that I would give up on the quest for this team.”

Di Benedetto has been a partner of the New England Sports Ventures group, which owns MLB side the Boston Red Sox and Premier League giants Liverpool, and said he wants to see the Roma side filled with more local players.

“If you look around professional soccer today, there are a number of players who grew up in greater Rome,” he said.

“It’s our goal to have more of them playing for AS Roma. I think we will put in place the people who will make it attractive for these young men to sign with us.”

Di Benedetto also added that he is hoping to replicate the success that AC Milan owner and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has had with his club.

The American gave no indication whether caretaker coach Vincenzo Montella would be given the job full-time from next season, and Montella himself said he was more focused on this weekend’s match.

Montella said: “We are curious, not anxious. We must only think about Saturday’s game against Palermo.”

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