Reuters , Friday, September 25, 2009 3:30 PM
Will the acquisition of Italian Serie A club Bari by American real-estate tycoon Timothy Barton
- who is becoming the only foreign owner in the top Italian league - start a trend in
A lack of foreign investment is one reason that the league has suffered a dip in fortunes. While Italian soccer federation chief Giancarlo Abete
would like the Bari case to remain an exception, some industry experts hope Barton will have a positive impact. "Bari's example can now show that soccer has become global and Italian soccer
needs to be ready to welcome investors from abroad," Giorgio Brambilla
of sports marketing consultancy firm SPORT+MARKT told Reuters. "In Italy we need a new vision and
organization of clubs. Italians see foreign investors as an enemy. We need a successful case study to prove foreign investors are a benefit, not a problem."
In addition to imitating
the Premier League by accepting foreign investors, Serie A has also opted to imitate the English league's financial structure. Serie A plans to separate from the country's second tier league
to maximize its revenues. "All the owners and teams are looking into that and seeing how it's time for things to evolve for the best for everyone."
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