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OFFICIAL: Rocco Commisso buys Fiorentina

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The New Jersey cable magnate is saying all the right things to kick off the new era.

32nd Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner Hosted By TV One Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Walter Kaitz

At 12:47 PM local time today, Fiorentina posted a press release on the team’s website confirming that the Reggio-Calabria-born New Jersey cable magnate had completed his takeover of the club from Diego and Andrea Della Valle. “There are no words to describe how incredibly honored I am to have the opportunity to contribute to writing the next chapter of a legendary club like Fiorentina,” he said at the opening press conference.

He also indicated that this wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment purchase, but rather the culmination of a long process, stating, “In these three years of contacts to acquire the club, I’ve developed a deep awareness of how important la Viola is to this city and to its fans.” While that may require a grain of salt, given that he was reportedly in talks to buy AC Milan last year, you certainly can’t accuse the man of not hitting all the right notes.

The Della Valle brothers, for their part, thanked Commisso and the “respectable supporters,” taking yet another shot at the tifosi on their way out the door. Given the brothers’ uneasy relationship with supporters over the past few years—banners hung in protest from the Curva Fiesole, sniping back and forth between the sides, organized stadium protests—it’s perhaps not a surprise that that famous Della Valle pettiness had to rear its head one last time.

Commisso, though, ensured that the tone remained positive, adding in his introductory press conference from the airport at Peretola that he’s going to do everything he can to keep Juventus-linked winger Federico Chiesa in the team; that he’ll do whatever necessary to bring Fiorentina back to Europe as quickly as possible, hinting at sizable war chest for the summer transfer window; and that he’d like to keep the Stadio Artemio Franchi as the team’s stadium while refurbishing the 88-year-old arena. Basically, he hasn’t put a foot wrong yet, and that’s about as exciting as anything we can imagine.

The 69-year-old businessman was born in the town of Marina di Gioiosa Ionica in Reggio-Calabria but moved to New Jersey at the age of 12. After earning a degree from Columbia University (and also captaining the soccer team there), he embarked on a successful business career that culminated with his founding cable company Mediacom, the 5th-largest provider in the US. He also owns the New York Cosmos, which currently play in the semi-professional National Premier Soccer League.