Following this abominable season, it’s not exactly a surprise that Fiorentina could be up for sale, especially when you take into account Diego Della Valle’s huffy comments following unrest among the fans a couple years ago. Given the club’s trajectory since then—it’s been more of an acceleration downwards at 9.8 m/s2—and the Della Valle brothers’ well-known touchiness about results, we can safely assume that they wouldn’t be sad to get out of the football business altogether.
Finding a buyer, of course, is tricky. The DVs have stated that they want €300 million for the team, which is obviously a big number, but it’s hard to imagine that valuation standing up, especially for a team that hasn’t won a trophy in decades and hasn’t even qualified for European competition in years. It’s hard to see anyone paying 300 million for a club that’s still in danger of relegation on the last match day of the season and could well lose its most valuable asset in Federico Chiesa this summer.
Nevertheless, Diego Della Valle’s presence in New York City recently has sparked the rumors. While he was ostensibly just there to inaugurate a new Tod’s store in Manhattan, apparently the Corriere dello Sport’s sources at MorganStanley claim that the opening was largely a cover for a meeting with representatives of a Qatari fund. There’s speculation that it’s controlled by businessman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who’s the president of Paris Saint Germain and the BeIn Media Group as well as the chairman of Qatar Sports Investments, the president of the Qatar Tennis Federation, and the vice-president of the Asian Tennis Federation. He was also a key part of Qatar’s successful bid for the World Cup. More recently, he’s found himself charged over an alleged system of bribery and corruption in athletics, which may well complicate any bid for the Viola.
The second option is Italian-American businessman Rocco Commisso. Born in Calabria, he moved to the US when he was 12 and eventually founded cable company Mediacom, which he still runs. He’s also the owner of the New York Cosmos, which is a bit of a concern given that team’s dormancy since 2017. Considered one of the 200 richest people in the US, he’d still probably have to find some minority stakeholders to lodge a successful bid.
Of course, a report from CdS citing “sources” isn’t exactly white smoke. Rather, consider this the opening salvo three months of rumors about the impending sale of Fiorentina. While we’re not going to pretend we have any idea whether the Della Valles will sell or not, it may well be time for the brothers and the Viola to go there separate ways; if a mutual solution can be arranged, we’re all for it.