Since the Della Valle family purchased Fiorentina, they have made it a point of avoiding the mistakes of the past, stressing financial responsibility and revenue growth. Although the result can often be frustrating - just look at the fan reaction to the summer's relative austerity, having a club that isn't at the mercy of one free spending rich old man is typically a positive thing.
Nevertheless, the revenue of the Della Valle family is still a concern for investments, and when news comes out that sales are down 3.7% for Tod's Group, the luxury shoe brand and source of wealth for family patriarch and CEO Diego Della Valle,there is a mild cause for concern.
Diego Della Valle, a billionaire who expanded his father's small shoemaking business to a luxury good empire, has his interests stretched thin these days; in addition to Tod's and Fiorentina, he has invested heavily in philanthropy, most notably a €25m investment in restoring Rome's Colosseum. He has also been politically active and is a harsh critic of Prime Minister and fellow Fiorentina fan Matteo Renzi.
Overall sales have been up for Tod's since 2008, enabling Diego to invest across the country, also fueling speculation that the 62 year old businessman could be looking to sell his assets following the slowdown of the Chinese luxury good market. Last year, following strong growth, Diego Della Valle denied any interest in selling Tod's following last year's strong growth, while leaving open the possibility of selling assets within his finance empire.
What this means for Fiorentina going forward is unknown. Diego has been relatively hands off when it comes to the football club following few disastrous attempts at reaching to the fanbase, leaving his brother Andrea as the face of their ownership. Despite recent budget cuts, the Della Valle ownership still appears to have a vision for the club going forward, from training facilities to new branding to a historic women's club, but the new stadium project still remains up in the air.
While Tod's is likely to bounce back, if Diego Della Valle continues his focus elsewhere, we have to wonder what this will ultimately mean for Fiorentina.